While Donald Trump riles against “chain migration,” his father-in-law and his mother-in-law are likely and quietly immigrating to the U.S. as “chain migration” beneficiaries. You see the duplicity of the “chain migration” argument? It makes for good talking points but nonetheless the advocates, like Donald Trump, have no problem with it, if it benefits their families.
Melania Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs are on the verge of becoming U.S. citizens. The Knavs confirmed to news outlets last week that they have immigrated to the United States and are currently Green Card holders, i.e. legal immigrants. Although the Knavs have refused to publicly discuss under what process they acquired their Green Cards, anyone that understands the current immigration process believes that the most likely scenario is that Viktor and Amalija Knavs used the family reunification status, under their daughter Melania, better known today as “chain migration.”
As you likely know, Donald Trump, their son-in-law has been arguing that “chain migration” needs to end, not withstanding that his own in laws used the same process to immigrate to the country. But it gets more interesting and ironic.
When I went through the immigration process there was one question I had to answer on the form that I didn’t even have to pause to think about, “have I ever being a member of the Communist Party?” México, my birth country and my current citizenship has a small Communist enclave and I have never being interested in becoming a Communist nor have I ever attended any meetings, much less become a member of the Communist Party.
Therefore, the answer I marked was “no”. But, Melania’s father has to think about his answer.
Viktor and Amalija Knavs lived and brought up Melania and her sister in a Communist nation, Yugoslavia, which later became Slovenia. Melania Trump refuses to provide many details about her history in Slovenia and about her parents. But we do know that Viktor worked as a car salesman for the state-owned car dealership before becoming a chauffeur. Amalija was a pattern maker for a state-run company.
According to a Communist Party membership roll (Archives of the Republic of Slovenia), published by the Metro UK, in 2015, Viktor Knavs was a Party member. But weren’t all citizens of Yugoslavia required to be Party Members under the USSR rule? During the time that Viktor Knavs was a Party member, only 5% of Yugoslavian’s belonged to the Communist Party. Melania’s mother Amalija Ulčnik Knavs was not known to be a Communist Party member.
The immigration form question is direct, “Have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” The reason for the question is because membership in the Communist Party prohibits the immigrant from admittance to the United States. But, like all bureaucracies there are exceptions to the rule.
There is the exception of involuntary membership due to things such as it being necessary to be a member to receive food. In the case of Viktor Knavs, when only 5% of his fellow citizens were members, arguing that it was required for living would be problematic for him. However, there is one exception to the rule that likely helped Viktor, his daughter Melania. “If the applicant does not meet any of the exceptions or judicially created rule, they may still be eligible for an exception which is exclusively available to close family members of a U.S. citizen,” i.e. “chain migration”.
But the “chain migration” exception does not negate that Melania’s father – Donald Trump’s father-in-law was a Communist Party member and a car salesman to boot.
Advocates of ending “chain migration” argue that it is dangerous to the country but ignore the obvious problem with a Communist Party member using chain migration to come to the country. Advocates of immigrants “following the law” ignore that exceptions for Viktor Knavs are being used for his immigration status. Additionally, Melania’s own immigration process is murky and she, and Donald Trump have refused to clarify whether Melania worked in violation of immigration law, prior to immigrating to the country. Where are the “follow the law” advocated on this?