First lady Melania Trump's parents have been sworn in as U.S. citizens

AFP  Getty Images

AFP Getty Images

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, First Lady Melania Trump's parents, 73 and 71 years old respectively, were sworn in as U.S. citizens in a private service on Thursday, their immigration attorney Michael Wildes announced.

"This golden experiment, these doors that are in America, remain hinged open to handsome people as they have today", Wildes said after the ceremony.

In a phone call on Thursday evening, Wildes declined to comment on whether Viktor and Amalija Knavs support President Trump's push to curb family-based sponsorship. Trump has decried "chain migration", where adult USA citizens can obtain residency for their relatives, and tweeted on November 1, 2017, "CHAIN MIGRATION must end now!"

"It went well and they are very grateful and appreciative of this wonderful day for their family", he said in a statement to CNN.

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The First Lady wears an nearly "naked" dress while accompanying her husband to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit. They tend to keep a low profile despite spending some time at the White House, much like how former first lady Michelle Obama's mother lived at the White House where she focused on helping raise the Obamas' daughters.

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.

Melania Trump became a USA citizen after entering the country on an Einstein visa for "individuals of extraordinary ability" in 2001 as a model.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, who are from Slovenia, had previously been living in the U.S.as legal permanent residents with green cards.

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In family-based immigration, adult American citizens can petition for residency for their parents, adult married children and siblings. Thomas Cioppa, New York district director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, presided over the 20-minute ceremony, Mr Wildes said.

Typically, naturalisation ceremonies at 26 Federal Plaza are large events, where groups of immigrants are sworn in as citizens en masse, after reciting an oath and the Pledge of Allegiance.

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

While the Knavs now live in Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower in New York City, they didn't always live in luxury.

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

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