Lawyer: Melania Trump's parents are permanent US residents

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In a piece by the Washington Post, Melania's parents' legal immigration status is noted to push the establishment media narrative that Trump's closest family and advisers have benefitted from the process of "chain migration".

The Washington Post reports that Viktor and Amalija Knavs, Melania Trump's parents, "very likely" relied on the chain migration program to obtain green cards.

Michael Wildes declined further comment, and did not discuss when the couple would be eligible for citizenship or how their green cards were obtained.

President Donald Trump's in-laws likely obtained legal, permanent USA residence through a visa category that would be eliminated if the president's chain-migration termination proposal were passed into law.

Under his plan, only spouses and minor children would be allowed to be sponsored, something that would have blocked his wife's parents if they used the chain migration program.

This same media narrative has been used against White House staffers and Trump's closest advisers, as Breitbart News reported.

He claimed as recently as last month than chain migration threatens US security and quality of life, citing the example of NY truck terrorist Sayfullo Saipov, who came to the country via such a program.

"Chain migration" is a program where USA citizens and permanent residents are allowed to sponsor close non-citizen family members for a green card.

In the United States, legal permanent residents must live in the country continuously and have held green cards for at least five years.

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The first lady's parents' immigration history has been an open question for some time, but it has taken on greater salience in light of President Trump's demand that chain migration be eliminated in a deal to give amnesty to younger illegal immigrants. She married Trump in 2005 and became a citizen the following year.

Melania Trump came to the United States from Slovenia in 1996 for modelling work on a visitor's visa and then a work permit.

The Knavses have lived on and off with the Trumps for many years.

Several years ago, their attorneys contacted the office of Sen.

Quick refresher: USA citizens and green card holders can sponsor their extended family to bring them to the country.

Such efforts are not unusual and some congressional staffs, including Schumer's, have a dedicated immigration case worker to handle such requests. Under the White House framework for such a deal, family based visas would be pared down to just spouses and minor children.

In his State of the Union address on January 30, Trump blasted "the current broken system" for allowing a single immigrant to "bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives".

He reiterated his stance in a February 6 tweet.

"We need a 21st Century MERIT-BASED immigration system", he tweeted. Tom Cotton's (R-AR) RAISE Act, which would end chain migration while creating a visa for the elderly parents of US citizens for caretaking purposes. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and backed by the White House that included Trump's proposal.

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