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

The Slovenian parents of first lady Melania Trump are legal permanent residents of the United States, according to the lawyer representing them in the process - raising questions about whether they are living in the USA by the very means President Donald Trump has strongly criticized and sought to end.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, the parents of US First Lady Melania Trump, make their way to a vehicle upon arrival at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida on March 17, 2017. "The family, as they are not part of the administration, has asked that their privacy be respected so I will not comment further on this matter", he said.

It is believed Mr and Mrs Knavs relied on a family reunification process to obtain their green cards - a process President Trump proposed ending in his hard-line anti-immigration agenda.

But immigration experts say that Melania Trump likely sponsored her parents for residency in the United States. He went on to state that employer sponsorship was unlikely as they would need to prove that no Americans could do the job.

The Washington Post first reported the Knavs' immigration status. Join journalist Emmy Kubainski and Kirstin Bouse as they explore the subtle art of saying no on 9Honey Life Bites.

While Trump and people who have a conservative stance on chain migration may deride the program, there are several misconceptions about it.

Trump's new proposal would only allow immigrants to sponsor spouses and minor children.

About 7 million of the 11 million immigrants who obtained green cards between 2007 and 2016 did so through familial relations, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security.

Melania Trump became a United States citizen in 2006, a year after she married Donald Trump.

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Viktor and Amalija Knavs, like their daughter, are from Slovenia.

An immigration proposal by the Trump administration would limit family sponsorship to spouses and minor children of USA citizens, as well as reducing the maximum eligible age for a minor to 18 from 21.

"I came here for my career", Melania Trump told Harper's Bazaar in January 2016.

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. She became a USA citizen in 2006, the year after she and Trump were married.

She arrived in NY in 1996, but is alleged to have begun working as a model in the US before obtaining the right visa that allowed her to do so illegally. Schumer's office declined to comment.

"Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives", he said in his speech. Under the White House framework for such a deal, family based visas would be pared down to just spouses and minor children.

He reiterated his stance in a February 6 tweet. They appear to have taken advantage of a system that Donald Trump has dubbed "chain migration" and has promised to end.

Democrats and some Republicans have opposed that measure.


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