American Constitution

Calvin Coolidge, photo portrait

To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.

Calvin Coolidge

I don’t know that I would have agreed with everything that Calvin Coolidge said. (He was “before my time”. But I agree with him here.

The U.S. Constitution was written for a Nation of immigrants. Our founders contemplated a Nation of different creeds and cultures. They understood that these differences would bring heated conflict and debate. The kind of tensions which have destroyed many other nations.

They, however, designed a framework which channeled these differences into a stronger Nation. A Country where all voices are heard and all men have the opportunity to participate in forging a common outcome. The Constitution elegantly brings us together like no other nation’s founding document. And through the process of finding common ground we make the United States a stronger and better place to live.

Risk Takers

Official photograph portrait of former U.S. President George W. Bush

Nearly all Americans have ancestors who braved the oceans – liberty – loving risk takers in search of an ideal.

George W. Bush

In September is Ancestor Appreciation Day. I am sure we all have ancestors that stand out and are part of each person’s family folklore. I can think of a couple ancestor who bring out a chuckle when I think of them and then there are the relatives who played a part in making America what it is today,

As a nation of immigrants we all have ancestors who came from other countries – mine came from Scotland and Great Britain – and I imagine they conquered many hurdles and challenges to come to America. If you have ever been to Jamestown, VA and seen the replicas of the ships our early settlers used to cross the Atlantic, you understand the obstacles they faced. The ships are so small – it is unbelievable! So on this special day, I applaud the many adventurers and brave souls who came to populate these United States of America.


Portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustration of the moment, I still have a dream.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

On August 23, 1963, the march on Washington occurred as over 250,000 persons attended a Civil Rights rally in Washington, DC at which the Reverend Martin Luther King made his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech. I watched the historic speech on television and found it both inspirational and memorable.

In my immigration practice, I meet so many clients who also have dreams. Despite obstacles and challenges, they are committed to getting their green cards and eventually becoming US citizens. They too are inspiring and make my work worthwhile.

Being Nervous

Portrait of Michael Jordan from 2014

Being nervous isn’t bad. It just means something important is happening.

Michael Jordan

What Michael Jordan says is true. Most of my immigration clients are apprehensive before their visa interviews. I make a point of meeting with them before their assigned appointment to review their respective files as well as offer them insights into what to expect in the interview. I find this exchange helps ease some of their stress, but it is natural to have a case of nerves when the results of the interview are possibly life-altering. As another sports figure Tiger Woods remarked, “If you’re not nervous, it means you don’t care.” I don’t have a client that doesn’t care.

What Makes America Special

Official Portrait of Zoe Lofgren from the 112th Congress

What makes America special is that people come here, assimilate and become American with all the rights and responsibilities citizenship bestows.

Zoe Lofgren

I enjoy helping green card holders with their quest for citizenship. America is a great melting pot of races, creeds and nationalities which form the citizenry of these United States. We are unique in the way we can assimilate immigrants and make them feel they are Americans.

In Japan for example, a person who is not Japanese can never become Japanese even though their ancestors have lived in Japan for hundreds of years. President Ronald Reagan related the story of a man who wrote to him regarding citizenship: “You can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman, you can go live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German or an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan and other countries. But he said anyone from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.”

We are indeed a special country.


When Harry Met Sally Poster

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

When Harry Met Sally

Patience is a virtue when a couple is in love and starting out on a life together. The immigration service seems to take forever to approve your advanced parole travel documents and employment authorization; and to schedule your final interview. I try to get my anxious clients to be patient; the process works even though it may be slow. It will happen and upon reflection, the time it took will seem infinitesimal to the time you will have together in the long run.

Nation of Immigrants

Portrait of President Woodrow Wilson from 1912

We came to America, either ourselves or in the person of our ancestors, to better the ideals of men, to make them see finer things than they had seen before, to get rid of the things that divide and to make sure if the things that unite.

Woodrow Wilson

This week we celebrate the birthday of our nation – a nation of immigrants. My ancestors came to this country from Scotland and Great Britain. One of my English ancestors was a founder of Williamsburg, VA and there is a plaque inscribed with his name in that historic city. The majority of my ancestors were not so illustrious, but they came to the United States to pursue the American Dream. In my law practice, I see this pursuit for legal immigration and citizenship continuously and it is what makes America so great.

Wedding Month

Maya Angelou Speaking

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

Maya Angelou

June is typically thought of as “The Wedding Month”. The weather is usually cooperative for outdoor marriage festivities and there is nothing more uplifting than a bright shining sun. I enjoy this month and I take great pleasure in the couples who come to see me for fiancé ( K-1 and K-2) visas. Call me a romantic, but there is something special about two individuals who meet and decide they want to spend the rest of their lifetimes together. Their determination and hopefulness are an inspiration.

American Ideal

Portrait of Robert Kennedy from 1962

Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal. We have always believed it possible for man and women who start at the bottom to rise as far as the talent and energy allow. Neither race nor place of birth should affect their chances.

Robert F. Kennedy

Whenever I think about Bobby Kennedy, I feel sad that America was deprived of such a special human being. On June 5, 1968, Senator Kennedy was shot while campaigning in Los Angeles for the Democratic Presidential nomination. I was privileged to serve on the Washington State Steering Committee for his presidential bid. His assassination was a shock and I still feel the loss. But his words still resonate; and his faith in our American ideals inspire me as I help my clients work through the green card and citizenship process towards a better life in the United States.