BREAKING NEWS Prosecutors charge 3 more officers in George Floyd's death Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Chico resident among the 3 killed in Solano County helicopter crash Full Story

Source: Melania used 'chain migration' visa

Melania Trump used the same so-called "chain migration" visa that the President publicly rails against to get her parents US citizenship, a source tells CNN.

Posted: Aug 12, 2018 11:59 AM
Updated: Aug 12, 2018 12:05 PM

President Donald Trump's in-laws are officially United States citizens, obtaining their citizenship through the sponsorship of their adult daughter, one of the very categories of family visas that the administration has sought to end.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, the parents of first lady Melania Trump, were granted citizenship Thursday, their immigration attorney, Michael Wildes, announced.

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

The first lady's office declined to comment.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, who are from Slovenia, had been living in the United States with green cards and have been frequently spotted in Washington since their son-in-law assumed the presidency.

A source with direct knowledge of Melania Trump's parents and their immigration status told CNN that Melania Trump sponsored her parents for their green cards, a status that allowed them to live and work in the US indefinitely and paved the way for citizenship. That type of family visa is exactly one of the categories that Trump and his allies have tried to repeal, saying they are harmful to the US.

Wildes wouldn't comment on how the Knavs received their green cards or citizenship Thursday, but criticized the Trump administration's immigration policies to CNN.

"I believe strongly in the principles of family reunification, which is a bedrock of immigration policy and law and has brought millions of people happily to our shores," Wildes said.

Pressed on the fact that the President has harshly criticized family-based migration and regularly refers to it as "chain migration," Wildes responded: "I can't comment on the President's politics when it comes to my clients but I have stood up against the President's immigration policies personally."

There are only a handful of ways that immigrants to the US can obtain green cards, and the largest share of them each year are given out based on familial connections. A smaller number go to immigrants based on their employment, and other categories include refugees and other special cases. 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.

The US allows a number of ways for US citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor family members to come to the US permanently, including categories for parents, adult siblings and adult children, married and unmarried.

Trump and his congressional allies have fought to slash that dramatically, limiting sponsorship to spouses and minor children, including dropping the threshold for minor children from 21 to 18. Experts estimate that could cut overall immigration to the US by 40% to 50%, if those green cards are not reallocated to another category. Trump has advocated a "merit-based" system, but has not proposed any method of admitting immigrants to the US to replace those categories.

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.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117215

Reported Deaths: 4305
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles572192448
Riverside8155342
San Diego7554269
Orange6574150
San Bernardino5501208
Alameda351597
Santa Clara2819143
San Francisco258743
Kern237639
San Mateo218884
Tulare200489
Fresno188236
Imperial179829
Santa Barbara166912
Contra Costa150637
Sacramento143958
Ventura116434
Kings11375
San Joaquin98235
Stanislaus75029
Monterey57110
Sonoma5664
Solano54622
Marin50115
Merced3017
San Luis Obispo2781
Placer2289
Santa Cruz2172
Yolo21324
Madera1143
Napa1133
Humboldt1023
El Dorado960
San Benito882
Butte511
Sutter462
Del Norte460
Nevada421
Shasta394
Mono371
Mendocino300
Yuba301
Lake260
Inyo201
Glenn170
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Amador100
Siskiyou80
Colusa70
Lassen50
Tehama51
Plumas40
Tuolumne40
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
98° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 98°
Oroville
Clear
98° wxIcon
Hi: 101° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 98°
Paradise
Clear
98° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 98°
Chester
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 85°
Red Bluff
Clear
98° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 98°
Willows
Clear
98° wxIcon
Hi: 103° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 98°
The Heat Advisory will stay in place through Thursday evening. Cooler temperatures and the potential for showers and thunderstorms are ahead for your weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events