Should Pres. Trump deport his in-laws?

Should Pres. Trump deport his in-laws?

PRES. Trump is fiercely opposed to family “chain migration” and wants to limit family petitions to spouses and minor children of green card holders or U.S. citizens.  He wants to eliminate petitions for parents (IR), married (F-3)  and adult single children (F-1), and  siblings  (F-4) of U.S. citizens, and adult unmarried children of green card holders (F-2B).

But wait a second!  Melania’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, are confirmed to be lawful permanent residents (green card holders), and reportedly waiting for their oath taking schedule to become U.S. citizens.  So the question is:  HOW did they get their green cards?

While the White House will not give information on how Melania’s parents obtained their green cards, a petition by her appears to be the most likely way.  However, this is precisely the type of petition Pres. Trump now wants to eliminate.  He is opposed to citizens petitioning their parents.  So, what should he do with his in-laws?  Send them back to Slovenia?  (In fact, they list their address at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf course in Florida.)

Realistically, there are two ways to get a green card — through a family based petition, or an employer.  Melania’s father is now 73 years old and worked as a chauffeur and car salesman in Slovenia.  Her mother, now 71, was a pattern maker at a textile factory.  It would be extremely uphill to obtain a green card as a chauffeur or pattern maker in the U.S. The applicant would be required to show there are no qualified U.S. workers for that job.  Moreover, Melania’s parents would have been in their late 60’s at the time of the employment based visa processing, likely past their retirement age. It also appears unlikely that they obtained legal status through asylum or refugee status.

Therefore, Melania’s parents most likely immigrated to the U.S. through “chain migration”.  Pres. Trump is thrilled to have his in-laws in the U.S.  So given the fact that he personally benefited from and experienced chain migration within his own family, it would be hypocritical to be so fiercely against it for other families.

In the meantime, anyone who is thinking of petitioning their parents, siblings, etc. should do so as soon as possible, just in case Trump goes ahead and eliminates these family based petitions.

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Michael J. Gurfinkel is licensed, and an active member of the State Bar of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different. The information contained herein including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and re-enactments) is of a general nature, and is not intended to apply to any particular case, and does not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader.


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