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By Alexyz LigginsJanuary 16, 2019
On Thursday, First Lady Melania Trump‘s parents became United States citizens in a private ceremony in Manhattan.
President Donald Trump’s in-laws Viktor and Amalija Knavs, obtained their citizenship through the sponsorship of their adult daughter; the same family-based immigration program that the Trump administration has sought to end.
“Citizenship was just awarded,” the Slovenian couple’s immigration lawyer Michael Wildes said after accompanying them to the courthouse.
”Everything was through a normal process. Like everybody else here you’re allowed to apply after five years of having your green card and so forth. It was all done lawfully,” Wildes told reporters.
While it clearly looked like a smooth ride in obtaining citizenship for Melania’s parents, Trump’s administration is seeking to make the process a little more difficult to obtain for both undocumented and legal immigrants.
Back in January, Trump proposed to end family-based immigration and replace it with a system prioritizing skilled immigrants, PEOPLE reports. In addition to that, he recently said he’s looking into terminating a visa lottery program for people from countries under-represented in the U.S.; a plan that would limit immigrants like the first lady to sponsoring only spouses and underage children, as opposed to parents and other adult family members.
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