04:01 GMT25 February 2020
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    The “pro-American” “merit-based” immigration plan, the US president presented in May, favours skilled newcomers over so-called chain migration, allowing to bring in family members. Donald Trump’s in-laws, who are from Slovenia like the First Lady, received US citizenship in 2018, following a years-long process.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken aim at Donald Trump and his recently rolled-out merit-based migration plans through his Slovenian-born wife and her parents, who became US citizens less than a year ago. She lambasted his plan as an idea designed to “make America white again”.

    “I don’t know if merit counted for when his wife’s family came into the country. I don’t know. Maybe it did. God bless them if it did. But he calls that ‘chain migration’, which he wants to get rid of”, she reprimanded the US president while speaking at a Commonwealth Club of California event in San Francisco, as The Washington Examiner reports.

    Although the top Democrat agreed that the US should encourage highly-skilled migrants and spoke out about attaching “a green card to the diploma of so many scientists and engineers and all the rest and graduate students who train in the US so that they can stay here”. She, however, still blasted Donald Trump over his stance on migration. 

    “The point is that the president does not share the view of even Ronald Reagan and two Bushes in recent history”, Pelosi said. 

    Viktor and Amalija Knavs, who like their daughter used to live in Slovenia, obtained citizenship in August 2018. According to the family’s lawyer, as cited by The Washington Examiner, the presidential in-laws were “sponsored by their daughter and then once they had the green card, they then applied for citizenship when they were eligible”.

    "In Melania Trump’s case, it took years for her to become an American citizen, then years for her to petition for her family and they went through the process, passing all of the American citizenship questions and everything just like any other person”, the First Lady’s attorney Michael Wildes told Hill.TV.

    READ MORE: 'Chain Migration to US is a Huge Problem, Numbers Are Way Too High' — Researcher

    Donald Trump has repeatedly clashed with Democrats over his stance on immigration policy, including, his efforts to build a border wall with Mexico to curb illegal migration. Their showdown over this plan resulted in the longest governmental shutdown this winter. The tensions ran high again this month when Trump unveiled his administration’s new merit-based legal immigration proposal aimed at increasing the proportion of highly-skilled immigrants allowed entry into the US.

    According to Trump, the plan aims to increase the proportion of highly-skilled immigration from 12 percent to 57 percent. The US president noted that if his plan does not pass in Congress, his administration will wait until after the 2020 US presidential election to approve the proposal. Trump claims he will be re-elected and Republicans will control both houses of Congress.


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    family, parents, immigration bill, Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Slovenia, United States
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