House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invoked first lady Melania Trump’s family to criticize President Trump’s immigration plan.
Pelosi said Wednesday that Trump’s merit-based immigration proposal is aimed at making “America white again.”
“I don’t know if merit counted for when his wife’s family came into the country,” Pelosi said at a Commonwealth Club of California event in San Francisco. “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.”
Trump unveiled his immigration plan earlier this month that prioritized merit-based immigration over chain migration, meaning the administration would give a higher priority to high-skilled immigrants.
The first lady’s parents became U.S. citizens in August via chain migration. Viktor and Amalija Knavs’ lawyer said the couple, who previously lived in Slovenia, was “sponsored by their daughter and then once they had the green card, they then applied for citizenship when they were eligible.” To obtain citizenship, legal permanent residents are required to live in the U.S. continuously and hold their green cards for at least five years.
Melania Trump said in October she believes immigrants should be able to bring their parents to the U.S. as she did, but they also need to be vetted.
The first lady’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.