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Viktor and Amalija Knavs after being sworn in as US citizens. Seth Wenig/PA Images
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Melania Trump's parents were sworn in as US citizens today

Viktor and Amalija Knavs had been living in the US as permanent residents.

FIRST LADY MELANIA Trump’s parents were sworn in as US citizens today, completing a legal path to citizenship that their son-in-law has suggested eliminating.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, both in their 70s, took the citizenship oath at a private ceremony in New York City. The Slovenian immigrants, a former car dealer and textile factory worker, had been living in the US as permanent residents.

The Knavses slipped in and out of a side entrance at a Manhattan federal building flanked by Department of Homeland Security police. Some workers inside didn’t know what was going on.

The couple said little, other than Viktor telling a reporter “thank you” when asked how they felt about becoming Americans.

The Knavses’ lawyer said they had “travailed a wonderful journey.”

Lawyer Michael Wildes said the Knavses applied for citizenship on their own and didn’t get any special treatment. He confirmed that Melania Trump sponsored their green cards. Her husband, President Donald Trump, has proposed ending most family-based immigration, which he refers to as “chain migration.”

“This golden experiment, these doors that are in America, remain hinged open to beautiful people as they have today,” Wildes said after the ceremony.

TIME / YouTube

Amid a bitter debate over immigration — particularly the Trump administration’s separation of children from families crossing the border illegally — Wildes said the Knavses’ attaining citizenship was “an example of it going right.”

Melania Trump, who has been vacationing with her husband in Bedminster, New Jersey, did not accompany her parents.

Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, declined to comment. She said the first lady’s parents “are not part of the administration and deserve privacy.”

© – AFP 2018

Author
Associated Foreign Press
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