Melania Trump’s immigration attorney spoke up Friday to criticize the president’s “unconscionable” demonizing of “chain migration” to stoke fear of immigrants. Attorney Michael Wildes praised the “beautiful” U.S. program of family reunification that helped family members of both the first lady and Donald Trump settle in America.
The first lady’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, became American citizens Thursday thanks to to the program. Trump’s own grandfather, Friedrich Trump of Germany, and his Scottish-born mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, followed their siblings into this country.
Melania Trump, from Slovenia, sponsored her parents so they could obtain a green card before applying for U.S. citizenship. Wildes said she has “great comfort” now knowing that her parents can stay in the U.S.
“Calling this ‘chain migration’ is really outside of the ethos of what was intended,” Wildes said on MSNBC.
“This whole notion of chain migration is actually a beautiful bedrock of immigration law and policy called family reunification,” Wildes added. “Imagine this: People will work harder and love more and do more for America knowing that their loved ones, their immediate relatives, their parents, their children” are here .... “chain migration, no, [it’s] family reunification.”
News host Erin Burnett played clips of the president calling chain migration “horrible, horrible,” a “disaster,” a “killer” and “terrible.”
“You bring one person in, and you end up with 32 people,” the president said in one of the clips. “We have to end chain migration.”
Wildes responded that it’s “unconscionable to scare people into believing that. You cannot bring nephews, you cannot bring nieces or uncles. You can’t bring 32 people here.”
He said Melania Trump came to him with the “intentions of bringing her family here — like everybody else would” want to do.
Check out the rest of the interview in the video above.
CHAIN MIGRATION must end now! Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE! pic.twitter.com/PQGeTTdRtX— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.