Melania Trump's parents become United States citizens

  • Melania Trump's parents become United States citizens

Melania Trump's parents become United States citizens

Mr Wildes told CNN that as of February, the couple was living in the USA on green cards - a status that allows them to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely and paves the way for citizenship.

While the President never mentions Saipov, who obtained his green card through the equally maligned diversity lottery, he has been known to detail the attack.

He said the pair had been living in the United States on green cards sponsored by Mrs Trump.

Mr Wildes called family-based migration "a bedrock of our immigration process", and when asked if the pair had gained citizenship through the system reportedly replied, "I suppose".

Since initial reports emerged in February that the Knavses had obtained permanent residency in the United States, there has been a lack of clarity about when or how the couple received green cards.

"He said: 'Hey look, there's people, nice people, they're relaxing, some are jogging, '" Mr Trump said during a rally last week in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, lamenting the lives lost and those who were injured. Green cards can also be obtained through employment, receiving asylum or refugee status, or in other special circumstances.

Advocates for restricting legal immigration have pointed to the imbalance in favour of family connections as evidence of the need for reform, calling for a "merit-based" system that would choose immigrants based on need in the US.

Trump's plan, which Congress has resisted, would limit immigrants like his wife to sponsoring only their spouses and underage children to join them in the US, not their parents, adult children or siblings.

Trump and his congressional allies have fought to slash that dramatically, limiting sponsorship to spouses and minor children, including dropping the threshold for minor children from 21 to 18.

Viktor Knavs was a auto salesman in the Slovenian town of Sevnica, while his wife Amalija worked at a textile factory.

Mrs Trump's parents, a former vehicle dealer and textile factory worker, are Slovenian immigrants who had been living in the USA as permanent residents.

The couple was escorted to and from the Manhattan ceremony by Homeland Security police. Ms Knavs is 73.

She attended high school in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, and changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modeling.

She was not present for the ceremony, and her parents told their lawyer she was in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president spends time in the summer at Trump National Golf Club.