CNN reported Saturday that the immigration lawyer for Melania Trump’s parents, Michael Wildes, called President Trump’s stance and rhetoric on immigration “unconscionable.”
Appearing on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront on Friday, Wildes said that after recently listening to an old audio clip, in which the President called chain migration, or family reunification, a disaster for the nation, “It’s unconscionable to scare people into believing that.”
“This whole notion of chain migration actually is a beautiful bedrock of immigration law and policy called family reunification,” Wildes added, noting that he was speaking solely on behalf of himself and not on behalf on the Melania Trump or her parents.
Describing an ideal scenario of immigration, Wildes went on to make his case for family reunification, saying, “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…to say you can bring one relative and not another relative.”
“I can understand that some of them may be in jeopardy,” he continued, “and you may want to retool an antiquated immigration system. It looks weird to have a lottery system. But chain migration? No. Family reunification.”
These comments come just days after the First Lady’s parents, Vikor and Amalija Knavs, were granted U.S. citizenship. Shortly after the two Slovenian immigrants had officially become American citizens, Wildes released a brief statement, commenting, “It went well and they are very grateful and appreciative of this wonderful day for their family.”
The First Lady’s parents were green card holders for a while, spending a significant portion of their time in Washington D.C. ever since the 2016 presidential election. It was also revealed quite recently that Melania Trump sponsored her parents in order to help them get their green cards in the first place, a process which the President himself has often referred to as “chain migration,” a system he wishes to eliminate. President Trump has instead called for the implementation of a merit-based immigration system but has yet to detail any specifics.
Informing Burnett and the audience at home that Melania was well aware that he would be making an appearance on the news show, Wildes noted, “And to the first lady’s credit, from day one she knew I’m a former mayor in New Jersey. I just succeeded in a primary as I hope to be mayor of my city again, that I’m a very proud Democrat.”
“I’m a second-generation immigration lawyer,” he continued. “My father represented John Lennon in a celebrated case where he took on the Nixon administration. The Lennon doctrine is actually the law that set the stage for President Obama to give out DACA. So she came to a qualified lawyer with a pristine case with the intentions of bringing her family here like everybody else would.”