As President Donald Trump attempts to make good on a campaign promise to crack down on immigration, his in-laws were spotted visiting a federal building that houses offices for immigration officials who help process citizenship applications.
Melania Trump‘s parents — Viktor and Amalija Knavs of Slovenia —are green card holders and lawful, permanent residents of the U.S. who immigrated legally, their lawyer, Michael Wildes, tells PEOPLE after images of them outside the building appeared in New York’s Daily News.
Wildes would not comment on whether the first lady’s parents are seeking citizenship.
“The family would like to keep it private,” he says, adding: “They are absolutely lovely people.”
The couple had been awaiting scheduling for their naturalization oath ceremony, the Washington Post reported in February.
The pair likely obtained a green card through sponsorship by their daughter Melania — an American citizen — immigration experts told the Post. The process, dubbed “chain migration,” has been blasted by Republicans including President Trump in his 2018 State of the Union address.
“We need a 21st Century MERIT-BASED immigration system,” Trump also tweeted in February. “Chain migration and the visa lottery are outdated programs that hurt our economic and national security.”
When asked to comment on Trump’s push for immigration restrictions, Wildes said he “can’t, it wouldn’t be appropriate.”
Melania Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, tells PEOPLE, “I never comment on her parents as they are not part of the administration and deserve their privacy.”
Meanwhile, Wildes’ Yelp page features a smiling photo of him with President Barack Obama, and he tells PEOPLE “I am a very proud Democrat,” noting he had been a two-term mayor of his city, Englewood, New Jersey, and is currently seeking a third term.
“It’s a real experience,” he says of being an immigration attorney. “It’s an extraordinary journey each day to help people open America’s golden doors.”