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Chain migration: Melania Trump’s immigration lawyer criticizes president over family reunification

Chain migration: Melania Trump’s immigration lawyer criticizes president over family reunification


Viktor and Amalija Knavs listen as their attorney, Michael Wildes, makes a statement Thursday in New York after they were sworn in as U.S. citizens. (Seth Wenig/AP)

First lady Melania Trump’s immigration attorney is criticizing the president’s hostility toward “chain migration” — a process by which U.S. citizens or permanent residents can sponsor family members to come to the country — and said the attacks are “unconscionable.”

“This is a tradition that happens in all rank and all files of life, whether you’re president of the United States — and this is the first naturalized first lady that we have — or people who eventually navigate through the waters into America,” Michael Wildes told CNN on Friday.

Wildes, a high-profile attorney who has worked for numerous celebrities on immigration cases, represented the first lady’s parents, who became naturalized citizens Thursday. Viktor and Amalija Knavs left their native Slovenia and had been living in the United States as permanent residents.

Citing legal experts, The Washington Post reported in February that the Knavses very likely came to the United States through family reunification, with their daughter sponsoring their green-card applications. Wildes confirmed as much during the interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett on “OutFront,” saying the first lady hired him “with the intentions of bringing her family here like everybody else would.”