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Melania Trump's parents get United States citizenship

Melania Trump's parents get United States citizenship

The US gained two new citizens of note on Thursday: Viktor and Amalija Knavs, parents of first lady Melania Trump.

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

According to experts, there are two main ways the First Lady's parents could have achieved citizenship status - either through sponsorship from their daughter or an employer. The Slovenian immigrants, a former vehicle dealer and textile factory worker, had been living in the U.S.as permanent residents. Both are now believed to be retired.

They had been living in the U.S.as permanent residents.

Viktor, 74, and Amalija, 73, had been living as permanent residents in the US.

President Trump has railed against family-based or "chain" immigration in the past.

Canada has a MERIT-BASED system, while the U.S. prioritizes more FAMILY-based immigration. Trump has advocated a "merit-based" system, but has not proposed any method of admitting immigrants to the USA to replace those categories.

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Viktor and Amalija Knavs took the citizenship oath on August 9, their lawyer, Michael Wildes, confirmed to Fox News. Experts estimate that could cut overall immigration to the USA by 40% to 50%, if those green cards are not reallocated to another category.

The Knavses raised Melania in the rural industrial town of Sevnica while Slovenia was under Communist rule.

Melania Trump became a USA citizen in 2006 after marrying Trump the year before.

The first lady was named Melanija Knavs when she was born in Slovenia but later changed her name to Melania Knauss when she began her modeling career.

While they reside for the most part in New York, AP notes that they've also spent an ample amount of time in the nation's capital helping to take care of their grandson, 12-year-old Barron Trump.

Around the same time the Knavses were completing the ceremony, he was tweeting his rage about the ongoing Russian Federation probe ("an illegally brought Rigged Witch Hunt") and his excitement about plans for a sixth branch of the military ("Space Force all the way!").