Melania Trump’s parents sworn in as US citizens

Donald Trump's in-laws Viktor and Amalija Knavs took the oath of citizenship their immigration lawyer Michael Wildes confirmed to AFPMore

First lady Melania Trump's parents became US citizens in a naturalization ceremony in NY on Thursday, completing a years-long immigration process even as President Trump has called for new laws to bar Americans from sponsoring parents and other relatives. The couple's exact path to citizenship isn't clear, but one likely possibility is that their daughter's citizenship helped them get green cards first, reports CNBC.

Viktor was a auto dealer, and Amalija worked in a textile factory.

Melania Trump, second left, is seen with her son Barron, left, her mother, second from right, and husband Donald Trump at the White House in June.

"It went well and they are very grateful and appreciative of this wonderful day for their family", he said in a statement to CNN. "What can you say when the first lady and her family have such an easy time?"

"This is the most anti-immigration administration probably in history of the country except when it comes to this family, and the hypocrisy is just stunning", said David Leopold, an immigration attorney in Cleveland.

Trump has taken a hardline on immigration policy, criticizing so-called main migration that allows naturalized United States citizens to sponsor close relatives for permanent residency. Advocates for restricting legal immigration have pointed to the imbalance in favor 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.

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The Knavses' citizenship ceremony was kept hush-hush at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building.

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

She attended high school in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, and changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modelling. A former model known as Melania Knauss, she arrived in NY in 1996 and began dating Trump in 2000. They married in 2005.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, 73 and 71 years old, respectively, are retired, and they maintain regular contact with the Trump family, often traveling with the first family on trips to Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster, New Jersey.

Trump hasn't commented or tweeted about his in-laws' newfound citizenship.

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