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Happy July 4, 2017 Independence Day

July 4, 1776, was a special day not only for the early American colonialists, but really for the whole world. The United States of America was an experiment in government that hadn’t been tried before, and really has not been successfully duplicated since (sorry rest of the free world – it’s really true).

The USA enjoys an almost unique success as a nation, with a wildly successful economy, and economic opportunity for almost anyone. While many other countries are friendly to foreign born, the USA has an almost unique ability to welcome and integrate foreign born both into its economy, and into the wealth structure.

Now, you wouldn’t necessarily think this from the past couple years of political turmoil. Our business of immigration has been turned on its head, and more crazy things are set to happen.  I just want to say, first, thank you to all the thousands who have put their trust in our hands.  It wasn’t easy for you. 

Second, I want those who are scared about your future to (1) be smart – learn as much as you can, (2) stand up for your rights – you have plenty, and (3) protect yourself and your children by not divulging private information others don’t really have to know – even if they flash a badge in your face. I have a lot of friends in the US government, and know many judges and colleagues in Immigration, but they have a job to do.  Well, so do you. Be strong. Be smart. Don’t get into trouble. Keep your eye on the goal. And pray.

It’s very funny. My family and I actually leave the country for a couple days every summer. We have a place in a really vibrant city not too far away. Yes I have offices across the United States, but sometimes it’s fun just to get out of the USA and look back in from the outside. And of course, relax for two minutes.

I am a citizen, as many of you know, and I was born in Hong Kong. My firm is growing, and while we have many foreign born associates and employees, many were born in the US.  I respect that. I affirm that being foreign born really helps me understand you, my clients. But my native born colleagues are really good at empathizing - and they're really smart, too.

I really wish my fellow US citizens a wonderful Independence Day holiday, and wish those striving to come to the United States – or are already here and are striving to become permanent residents, or even naturalized citizens, welcome and good luck. The USA really is the finest country in the world. I’m proud of you.

Gordon Landefeld