The White House is flatly refusing to provide any information on the immigration status of first lady Melania Trump’s parents Viktor and Amalija Knavs, who may be living in the US on extended tourist visas.
A White House official declined to comment when asked by The Washington Post if the first lady’s parents came to the U.S. via family reunification visas which the president and the GOP have renamed “chain migration.” Trump has supported bills that would restrict these visas.
The congressional debate on overhauling immigration laws has sparked renewed attention on the First Lady’s parent’s immigration status.
“I don’t comment on her parents, as they live private lives and are not part of the administration,” said Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for the first lady, according to the Post.
“I’m not going to get into specific cases,” the official told reporters Wednesday.
The Post speculates that the Knavs might be staying in the U.S. on IR-5 visas, which means they are legal permanent residents, or that they could be here on tourist visas and asked for extensions.
“None of those options apply,” said a Trump’s spokeswoman when shown a list of the Post’s possible immigration status options.
“As we noted, we gave Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman, ample opportunity to explain the immigration status of the Knavs,” the Post wrote in its fact-checker piece.
“It’s a mystery why the White House refuses to answer such a simple question, given the president’s high-profile demand to limit immigration.”
The Hill reports:
Viktor Knavs is a former member of the Yugoslav Communist Party. Amilija Knavs worked at a textile factory. According to the Post, the couple is now retired.
The Knavses have been living in the U.S. for at least a year, according to reports.