It appears President Trump has found himself in yet another embarrassing familial conflict of interest. This time, the questions are swirling around the legal immigration status of his wife Melania Knaus’ parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, which have been called into question by various anti-Trump memes circulating the social media in an attempt to expose the hypocrisy of Donald Trump’s virulent anti-immigration agenda.
The White House’s refusal to comment on the matter has only fanned the flames of controversy.
"Here are Melania's Parents. Viktor and Amalija Knavs. They live in the United States Permanently now because of Chain Migration after Melania's Visa Expired & she stayed here Illegally and married Donnie for Citizenship. None of them have a degree or a job". pic.twitter.com/0FHTOqj81V
— Brasilmagic (@Brasilmagic) February 7, 2018
Now, these viral posts and memes are extremely problematic and it is very disappointing to see liberals sharing them so widely, because not only are they usually factually incorrect (like the one above; there is no evidence Melania stayed in the United States illegally), they are simply using Republican talking points to take cheap shots at an elderly couple from Slovenia who could never have imagined their daughter would someday be the First Lady of the United States.
Immigrants shouldn’t need to “have a degree or a job” to live here with their families. Such shameful attempts at moral means testing undermines the entire argument for legal immigration and amnesty for illegals – that no human being is “illegal,” that people deserve to be able to live with the people they love and that the United States welcomes people of every race and nation to share in our prosperity and opportunity.
On the other hand, the White House’s refusal to address the issue does raise some serious questions, considering that the President – or his blood-sucking white nationalist advisors – has made his opposition to what he crassly refers to as “chain migration” and what everybody who isn’t dreaming of a white ethnostate refers to as”family reunification” one of the central demands in the ongoing negotiations over the 800,000 “Dreamers,” immigrants who arrived in the US as children and who must have Congress reach a deal and resolve their legal status issues their deportation protections expire on March 5th.
When asked for comment on the immigration status of the Knavs, a spokeswoman for the First Lady said “I don’t comment on her parents, as they live private lives and are not part of the administration.” There are four answers as to what the legal status of Melania’s parents might be, which are explored in depth in the Washington Post.
No matter what their legal status is, the White House should be pressed on the issue, not because we need to call for the deportation of the Knavs out of sheer spite but because we need to use the issue as a messaging opportunity to make the humane case – that you don’t need to be economically productive or willing to serve in the army or whatever other standards of judgment we use to be treated with human dignity and to be with the people you love.