United States President Donald Trump’s Slovenian in-laws on Thursday became American citizens through a family-based immigration programme that the president has publicly opposed, The New York Times reported.

Immigration Attorney Michael Wildes told reporters that his clients Viktor Knavs and Amalija Knavs, parents of First Lady Melania Trump, have obtained citizenship but declined to comment on how they received their green cards.

Wildes confirmed that the Knavs had used what Trump has denounced as “chain migration”, which allows adult American citizens to obtain residency for their relatives by sponsoring them. Melania Trump sponsored her parents’ citizenship application.

“I cannot comment on the president’s politics when it comes to my clients but I have stood up against the president’s immigration policies personally,” the lawyer said.

The Knavs stood by Wildes side when he made the announcement The First Lady’s office refused to comment on the development, CNN reported.