Melania Trump's parents are legal permanent residents, raising questions on 'chain migration'

by Antonio Miles February 23, 2018, 3:35
Melania Trump's parents are legal permanent residents, raising questions on 'chain migration'

Melania Trump's parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, have been regularly spotted in Washington since Donald Trump became President of the US and are now classed as legal permanent residents - on the way to gaining citizenship.

The process is a mainstay of USA immigration; of the 990,553 of the foreign nationals admitted to the United States as permanent residents in 2013, almost 649,763 of them were admitted due to family ties, according to Department of Homeland Security statistics.

Mr Wildes declined further comment, including discussing when the couple would be eligible for citizenship or how their permanent residency was obtained.

President Donald Trump's in-laws likely obtained legal, permanent USA residence through a visa category that would be eliminated if the president's chain-migration termination proposal were passed into law.

He's embraced enactment that would keep migrants from supporting their parents and just enable them to support mates and minor kids.

One option, an employment-based green card, is unlikely, as neither Viktor Knavs nor Amalija Knavs meet the eligibility criteria for any of the so-called EB visa categories. Under his plan, he said, only spouses and minor children could be sponsored for legal residency.

"If somebody came to me and asked me how to become a citizen, the first question I would ask is 'Do you have an American citizen as a relative?'" said Theresa Cardinal Brown, the director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., now the Democratic minority leader, for help checking on the status of their petition for a green card with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to a person familiar with the outreach.

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But Trump has vilified the program as a way for terrorists to enter the United States and has called for aspects of the program to be eliminated as part of immigration reform. Both of her parents are retired, according to the news outlet. Schumer's office declined to comment.

In his State of the Union address on January 30, Trump blasted "the current broken system" for allowing a single immigrant to "bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives".

The President's insistence that the cuts to family-based migration be included in a deal to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children was an insurmountable sticking point in negotiations when the Senate failed to reach a compromise on the issue last week.

Trump underscored his position in a February 6 tweet.

"We need a 21st Century MERIT-BASED immigration system", he tweeted later.

Democrats and some Republicans have opposed that measure. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and backed by the White House that included Trump's proposal.

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