Melania Trump's Slovenian parents get US citizenship

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"Some workers inside didn't know what was going on".

There are only a handful of ways immigrants can obtain green cards, and the largest share of them each year are given out based on familial connections. The average time to process an application for naturalisation in New York City is 11 to 21 months, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They made their first trip to America in 2004.

During a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers in January, for example, Trump said, "Chain migration is bringing in many, many people with one, and often it doesn't work out very well".

The Times noted that the couple would have to have their green cards for five years to become eligible for citizenship.

She became a United States citizen in 2006. She said the first lady's parents "are not part of the administration and deserve privacy".

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In addition, Trump is also readying a proposal that would make it hard for legal immigrants to obtain citizenship.

He maintains there should instead be a merit-based system, which prioritises professionals over relatives, and has drawn censure for his strident attacks on immigration laws and immigrants. He also called for eliminating a visa lottery program for people from countries underrepresented in the US.

He frequently reminds his audiences of the October terror attack in NY, where Sayfullo Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, ploughed a pickup truck down a bike lane, killing eight people near the World Trade Center.

Experts estimate those measures would cut legal immigration into the US almost in half.

The lawyer acknowledged that the Knavses had obtained citizenship via the very pathway that their son-in-law, the president, has so publicly denounced. Now that the couple are USA citizens, it's important to note the president's hypocrisy when it comes to immigration policies. But the Knavses' lawyer said their ceremony was kept private for "security reasons".

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A source familiar with the situation told Yahoo News that the Knavses received their green cards before Trump was elected and that they were sponsored by their daughter.

Their daughter, Melania, was raised under Communist rule in the town of Sevnica where her father worked as a auto dealer and her mom in a textile factory.

The 48-year-old first lady, born Melanija, changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modeling.

According to The New York Times, Mr Wildes labelled family-based migration "a bedrock of our immigration process", and when asked if the pair had gained citizenship through the system, he reportedly replied: "I suppose".

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