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American Values in the Trump Era

by Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram on July 16, 2017

Does the President Get to Define American Values?

Does the President Get to Define American Values?

By Chris M. Ingram, Attorney at Law

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As a US Immigration Attorney and as a US Immigrant, I think about my personal immigration status and the status of my clients all the time. I literally live the recurring experience of being an immigrant every single day.

Thanks to my immigrant parents I was born and raised in England, United Kingdom. Because I was British, under European law I could travel to 20 different European countries as of right. A British Passport (for now) is a European passport. Moreover, in most of those countries, even though English is not their first language, so many people are so fluent in English that I could get by in English.

It was not until I hit my 30s that I began to really consider my place in the world, and this is when America became, to me that Shining City on the Hill.

The freedom of movement between member EU countries has made it the #1 a global powerhouse - countries coming together as one union. I guess this is similar to the United States of America; multi-states forming one single country and as a result becoming the most successful country in the world.

The freedom of movement between member EU countries has made it the #1 global powerhouse – countries coming together as one union. I guess, this is similar to the United States of America; multiple states forming one single country and as a result becoming the single most successful country in the world.

I’ve been living in the US since December 1999 and in that time, I’ve lived under the Presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama  and now Donald Trump.  To be honest, in all that time, whilst politics and political issues covered the news, it was really background noise until Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President. News, out of nowhere became ‘must watch’ TV. In all that time, from 1999 – 2015, I just got on with striving for the American Dream. I’m still pursuing the American Dream of course, but today because of my profession and my status as an immigrant both have become a very hot topic.

Our Five Former Presidents All Together - Did they Define American Values?

Our Five Former Presidents All Together – Did they Define American Values?

Just for the record, it was the Republican President Regan, who is often cited as one of the greatest Presidents in the modern era, who on November 6th 1986, signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act which granted an Amnesty to over three million undocumented aliens in one go. According to the Hudson Institute, the average gross Domestic Product of America averaged 3.5%, not too shabby. My point here, and again, just for reference, legalizing over three million undocumented aliens, did not seem to hurt the US Economy.  If we look at all of the US Presidents since 1946, President Regan had the 4th most successful under his term. President Johnson (1964-68) placed 1st with 5.3% GDP, Kennedy (1961-63) 2nd with 4.3% GDP and Clinton (1993-2000) placed 3rd with 3.9% GDP.

 

Republican President Ronald Regan signed the last Amnesty Bill that Legalized 3,000,000 undocumented aliens and presided over one of the most successful economies in the modern era.

Republican President Ronald Regan signed the last Amnesty Bill that Legalized 3,000,000 undocumented aliens and presided over one of the most successful economies since 1946.

So how does the above tie in with American Values in the Trump Era? Well, it’s all in the messaging. As an immigrant moving to America, I had to really think about what America had to offer me and my family, over my place of birth the United Kingdom.  What was so attractive about America, what was so compelling , what was so irresistible that caused me to leave everything and everyone behind to to seek a better life in the US? For every immigrant, whilst the stories might be different, the result is the same. We left all,  sacrificed all, just  to have a chance at achieving the American Dream of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’ as declared in the United States Constitution of July 4th 1776.  As immigrants, we did not sacrifice all because one president or other was in power. Indeed, I would argue that, who the president was or is at any given time, is almost irrelevant, because Presidents come and go.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - The Declaration of Independence July 4th 1776

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – The Declaration of Independence July 4th 1776

American values really originate from America’s founding Declaration of Independence and it was that declaration that signaled to the entire world, that America was being born to be something new – a New World, made of people from around the world. Something that declaration was a siren call; ‘the enticing appeal of something alluring but potentially dangerous’, or better still, a clarion call; ‘a strongly expressed demand or request for action’. This clarion call was so eloquently and poetically distilled by Emma Lazarus in 1883 when she wrote by the Statue of Liberty, the gateway to America – “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse or your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I will life my lamp beside the golden door.”

Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus

American values were birthed in the belief that, in the New World a.k.a America, no matter how low or impoverished you were, if you had the heart to face the perilous journey, you too could experience the American Dream of ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’, as enshrined as the DNA of American values. It was this core American value, that was so irresistible then and is irresistible today. President Trump’s family is living proof as to what can be achieved in America, in four generations starting with Trump’s German great grandfather Frederick Trump. Moreover, it was the election and success of President Obama, whose father came from Kenya, that told the world that, black or white the American Dream was open to all.

What Does the American Flag Stir-up Inside You?

What Does the American Flag Stir-up Inside You?

When I, so much as look at the American flag, or take in a patriotic event, I get quite stirred up inside, sometimes man-cry or just feel so overwhelmed with pride for what America has given me.

For me, it’s about tuning out the hysteria of who is pro or against the current President, because what really represents America, is the founding Declaration of Independence, and seeing success after success of first generation Americans going from rags to riches. Even if most of us cannot get all the way to riches, the freedoms and opportunities we get to enjoy here everyday are, again, overwhelming.

Today, if I had it all to do again, I’d do it again in a heart-beat. It would be impossible for me to sing the song ‘America the Beautiful’ or read the words written by Katharine Lee Bates and music by Samuel Ward – without losing it, just a little, because as an immigrant I’ve live it, experienced it, felt it, sacrificed it, endured it, enjoyed it and it’s all been worth it.

Samuel Ward (music) and Katharine Lee Bates (Lyrics)

Samuel Ward (music) and Katharine Lee Bates (Lyrics)

Whoever has the largest microphone can make the most noise, right now it’s President Trump, but in due course it will be someone else. Remember, what defines American Values cannot be enshrined by President Trump, nor his immediate predecessors. No, you have to go all the way back to the American Declaration of Independence. American’s are trained, almost from birth to recite The Pledge of Allegiance , which in its current form reads “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” There is it is again, liberty and justice for all.

America was built by immigrants, even literally by Trump’s grand parents, and continues to be built by immigrants. With every generation of sacrifice, their legacies power the engine of America. What Made America Great and what continues to Make America Great is again, rooted in the Declaration of Independence, and the US Constitution that it birthed, and America’s renewed pledge at every opportunity to uphold it.

By Chris M. Ingram, Attorney at Law 

 

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
[Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292

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About Chris M. Ingram., LL.M., ESQ.

Attorney Chris M. Ingram is originally from Northampton, England. Chris M. Ingram Graduated with a BA(Hons) Degree in Law from De Montfort University, Leicester, UK in 1994, Chris M. Ingram then went on to the De Montfort School of Law in 1996 and graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (PGDLP).   In 1998 Chris M. Ingram graduated with a Masters of Laws and Letters (LL.M) from Huddersfield University, UK. and after relocating to the U.S. Chris was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2003. Chris has been a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 2004.

Having gone through the US Immigration process personally with his wife and three children, Chris M. Ingram founded his own law firm with the clear mission to make sure every client had the very best US Immigration experience possible. To begin with, Chris M. Ingram set about writing and creating the very best comprehensive US Immigration education platform so that every visitor had the opportunity to discover in their own time and at their own pace their US Visa, Work Permit and Green Card options for free. Today, the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram’s website has over one thousand pages of content and hundreds of education videos and testimonials to inform and inspire every visitor. We are adding new content all the time.

Attorney Chris M. Ingram also believes that everyone should be able to have a free consultations so that potential clients can speak personally and confidentially with an immigration specialist and discuss their US Visa, Work Permit and Green Card needs and learn about how we can help them achieve the American Dream.

We’re delighted you have found us and we look forward to helping you make this a reality this year. You’ve come to the right place.

It’s all about you!

Important Notice:

Please note that all videos created by the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram are intended as general information only and not specific legal advice pertaining your case. If you would like specific legal advice on any immigration matter please do not hesitate to contact this law office accordingly. All pictorial images used in these videos and the website in general are licensed stocked images and not portraits, or otherwise, of anyone from the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram, nor of its clients unless otherwise indicated by name. All images are used solely for illustrative purposes only. Copyright 2010-2017 All Rights Reserved.

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