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Lawyer who helped Melania Trump obtain US citizenship blasts president’s immigration ban

First Lady Melania Trump’s immigration attorney has slammed her husband’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying: ‘It’s embarrassing’.

Michael Wildes, who helped secure U.S. citizenship for both Melania and her parents Viktor and Amalija Knavs, as well as a green card for Melania’s sister Ines, hit out against President Trump after he announced on Monday his plans to ban immigration into the US amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The president tweeted: ‘In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!’

Trump clarified the position on Tuesday, ordering a 60-day ban on new immigrants seeking permanent status.

Wildes, Managing Partner at Wildes & Weinberg law firm that specializes in US immigration and nationalist law, gave his thoughts on the crisis in a web chat with former Hollywood actor turned relocation specialist Andy Newton-Lee.

Michael Wildes helped secure US citizenship for both Melania Trump and her parents Viktor and Amalija Knavs as well as a green card for Melania’s sister Ines. The immigration attorney has slammed President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying: ‘It’s embarrassing’

Wildes hit out against President Trump after he announced on Monday his plans to ban immigration into the US amid the coronavirus pandemic. The president tweeted: 'In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!'

Wildes hit out against President Trump after he announced on Monday his plans to ban immigration into the US amid the coronavirus pandemic. The president tweeted: ‘In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!’

The high-profile attorney said: 'Embarrassing, embarrassing, I think it's embarrassing, but I think we have to not criticize, we have to step up and all hands on deck are needed'

The high-profile attorney said: ‘Embarrassing, embarrassing, I think it’s embarrassing, but I think we have to not criticize, we have to step up and all hands on deck are needed’

In the video obtained exclusively by DailyMailTV Newton-Lee, who runs relocation firm Next Stop LAX, asked Wildes how he thought the president is dealing with the pandemic.

The attorney said: ‘Embarrassing, embarrassing, I think it’s embarrassing, but I think we have to not criticize, we have to step up and all hands on deck are needed, whether it’s the medical professionals in our hospitals and our first responders in people’s homes.

‘I’m also a mayor in a small city in New Jersey where I live. But now is not the time for us to judge, history will judge the way we respond as a nation.’

Wildes reserved any further criticism until after the pandemic passes, but added pointedly: ‘We have an opportunity in November to elect somebody different if we don’t feel that the president ought to continue that trust, but right now he is our president in the midst of a COVID-19 campaign. 

‘It’s our job, you, me, others to make sure that those people with accents in this country feel the same sense of hospitality that our founding documents and parents have envisioned and that we realize that it’s that golden experiment, that regeneration of America’s dream and immigration is a huge part of that DNA that will help right this ship. 

‘I can judge, but it’s not for me to say, right now it’s for me to do.’

During the chat, Newton-Lee quizzed the lawyer over the current situation for people overseas in the entertainment industry seeking work visas. 

Wildes, Managing Partner at Wildes & Weinberg law firm that specializes in US immigration and nationalist law, gave his thoughts on the crisis in a web chat with former Hollywood actor turned relocation specialist Andy Newton-Lee

Wildes, Managing Partner at Wildes & Weinberg law firm that specializes in US immigration and nationalist law, gave his thoughts on the crisis in a web chat with former Hollywood actor turned relocation specialist Andy Newton-Lee

Melania's parents Viktor and Amalija Knavs (pictured with Wildes in 2018) were sworn in as US citizens in August 2018. The couple from Slovenia, who had been living in the US as permanent residents, took the oath of citizenship in New York City after being sponsored by their daughter. According to Wildes, Melania's sister Ines, who lives in New York City, obtained a green card with his help recently

Melania’s parents Viktor and Amalija Knavs (pictured with Wildes in 2018) were sworn in as US citizens in August 2018. The couple from Slovenia, who had been living in the US as permanent residents, took the oath of citizenship in New York City after being sponsored by their daughter. According to Wildes, Melania’s sister Ines, who lives in New York City, obtained a green card with his help recently

Presidential Power on Immigration Policy 

Modern U.S immigration law – which is about allowing foreign nationals to settle in the United States as opposed to just visiting – dates back to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended the preference for white migrants and established a more broad entry system.

Constitutionally, Congress has the power to make immigration law and the president – i.e. Donald Trump – is tasked with carrying such laws out. The president can, however, control the administration of such laws, such as the timing of when and how they are implemented.

But Trump has some power here too. 

The president has historic power to open and close borders, which courts have ruled comes from the inherent powers granted to an executive.

Additionally, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 expanded the president’s power over immigration in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

The law gives the executive branch the power to secure the borders and establish national immigration enforcement policies and priorities.

But the full range of that presidential power has yet to be tested in court. 

President Trump has tested it in bits and pieces. For example, in 2018, the Supreme Court upheld his travel ban on predominately Muslim countries, citing the president’s authority to secure the borders.

Wildes described the entertainment industry as ‘ground zero’ in the regeneration to come, adding that any foreigners, including actors, looking to seek work in America shouldn’t lose heart.

‘Don’t give up on this beautiful country it will take a little while to get back into place personally, but they are moving (visa) applications,’ he said.

‘I believe that the entertainment sector will be part of the way that we will heel through this…we will bring America back.

‘Our doors are open for business, America will need people in the entertainment space.’

The high-profile attorney continued by highlighting the importance of immigration to the future of America.

He said: ‘We will cure this because of immigrant doctors and vaccines and because of the medical support that will be there, I’ve done scores of O-visas for so many people in the sciences and the medical professions in addition for people in the entertainment space.’

The former federal prosecutor, who has served two terms as the Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey, was appointed to the District Appeals Board of the Selective Service System for the State of New Jersey and was a member of the New Jersey Governor’s Blue Panel on Immigration.

On Tuesday President Trump said his immigration ban would be a 60-day pause on green cards, which is already in place because of the coronavirus.

‘This pause will be in effect for 60 days. Afterwards, the need for any extension or modification will be evaluated by myself and a group of people based on academic conditions at time. This order will only apply for an individual seeking a permanent residency. In other words, those receiving green cards,’ he said at the daily White House briefing.

But the State Department has essentially stopped processing visa applications because of the pandemic.

The order will not apply to those seeking temporary status or a temporary work permit.

But the president didn’t say if it would apply to immediate family members of those who are citizens or already have permanent resident status. 

British actor Newton-Lee set up Next Stop LAX to help foreign performers land an American work permit. The entrepreneur says he is the first 'port of call,' for actors trying their luck in Los Angeles, chasing the often elusive Hollywood dream

British actor Newton-Lee set up Next Stop LAX to help foreign performers land an American work permit. The entrepreneur says he is the first ‘port of call,’ for actors trying their luck in Los Angeles, chasing the often elusive Hollywood dream

The president said he was issuing the order to protect American workers but some fear Trump could issue an extension that would be hard to undo.

‘We want to protect our US workers. I think as we move forward, we will become more and more protective of them,’ Trump said.

He said the economy would determine whether or not he issues an extension.

At least 22 million Americans are now out of work as tough measures to control the coronavirus outbreak wiped out 13.5 percent of the workforce and 10 years of job growth.

‘I think I will have a very easy decision to make. I hope that the economy is going to be great by that time, but we’ll see,’ Trump said.

The president said he expected to sign the order Wednesday.

Democrats called the order ‘xenophobic’ and claimed it was more presidential scapegoating on the coronavirus.

‘From the beginning Trump has flailed about seeking someone to blame for his own failure,’ wrote Democratic Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia on Twitter.

‘Immigration has nearly stopped and the US has far more cases than any other country. This is just xenophobic scapegoating.’

Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York called the president: ‘Xenophobe. In. Chief.’

Wildes has also secured visas for a string of celebrities including supermodel Yasmin Le Bon, soccer icon Pele and famed British artist Sarah Brightman. His firm Wildes & Weinberg is best known for Founding Partner Leon Wildes' representation of John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono during their deportation struggle in the 70s

Wildes has also secured visas for a string of celebrities including supermodel Yasmin Le Bon, soccer icon Pele and famed British artist Sarah Brightman. His firm Wildes & Weinberg is best known for Founding Partner Leon Wildes’ representation of John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono during their deportation struggle in the 70s

The president said he was issuing the order to protect American workers but some fear Trump could issue an extension that would be hard to undo

The president said he was issuing the order to protect American workers but some fear Trump could issue an extension that would be hard to undo

First lady Melania became a permanent resident of the US in 2001 after obtaining a green card. She married Donald Trump in 2005 and with the help of attorney Wildes she obtained US citizenship in 2006.

Melania’s parents Viktor and Amalija Knavs were sworn in as US citizens in August 2018.

The couple from Slovenia, who had been living in the US as permanent residents, took the oath of citizenship in New York City after being sponsored by their daughter.

According to Wildes, Melania’s sister Ines, who lives in New York City, obtained a green card with his help recently.

Wildes has also secured visas for a string of celebrities including supermodel Yasmin Le Bon, soccer icon Pele and famed British artist Sarah Brightman.

His firm Wildes & Weinberg is best known for Founding Partner Leon Wildes’ representation of John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono during their deportation struggle in the 70s.

British actor Newton-Lee set up Next Stop LAX to help foreign performers land an American work permit.

The entrepreneur says he is the first ‘port of call,’ for actors trying their luck in Los Angeles, chasing the often elusive Hollywood dream.

Newton-Lee helps them deal with visa issues and find a place to live as well as how to navigate the Hollywood mine-field. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk