Melania Trump's parents become U.S. citizens

Melania Trump's parents sworn in as US citizens report

Melania Trump's parents sworn in as US citizens report

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".

Trump has railed against what he calls "chain migration", which the president contends has resulted in fiercer competition for blue-collar jobs for native-born Americans and introduces increased national security concerns.

They arrived and departed from a Manhattan federal building escorted by Homeland Security police.

The Washington Post first reported in February that the Knavs had gained legal permanent residency and that legal experts believed it was likely that the first lady had sponsored their applications for family-based green cards.

Trump has taken a hardline on immigration policy, criticizing so-called main migration that allows naturalized USA citizens to sponsor close relatives for permanent residency. Wildes told the newspaper that the Knavs fulfilled the five-year requirement, but declined to give further comment.

Experts estimate those measures, so far resisted by Congress, would cut legal immigration into the U.S. almost in half.

Under the law, permanent residents must live in the country for at least five years before applying for citizenship.

Along with targeting illegal immigration, Donald Trump has proposed sharply curbing legal immigration.

Melania Trump's parents have been sworn in as USA citizens.

The first lady, born Melanija, changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modelling.

President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, son Barron Trump and Melania's mother, Amalija Knavs, walk to board the Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House on June 29.

She settled in NY in 1996 and met Mr Trump two years later.

Trump hasn't commented or tweeted about his in-laws' newfound citizenship.

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