Although the Americas include Canada, Mexico, and the nations of South America, we are the only nation in the Western Hemisphere that includes “America” in its official name. So, citizens of the U.S., born or naturalized, get to call themselves “American” – and usually do so with a certain amount of pride. And that pride is justified.

America’s Promise

In a recent New York Times article examining India’s surging economy, consider what Saurabh Srivastava, co-founder of the National Association of Software and Service Companies in India, had to say about America: “What is happening in America is a loss of self-confidence. We don’t want America to lose self-confidence. Who else is there to take over America’s moral leadership? America’s leadership was never built on military armament. It was because of ideas, imagination, and meritocracy. If America turns away from its core values, there is nobody to take that leadership. Do we want China as the world’s moral leader? No. We desperately want America to succeed.”

America’s Problems

No matter how encouraging those words may sound, they also point out the social and financial problems that have beset our nation. Problems that fall on every American’s shoulders , natural or naturalized, and even on the undocumented immigrant community. Those folks may exist in the shadows, but by living and working here they are de facto citizens and their hopes hang on America’s success just as with any American.

Most every American is feeling the impact during these times of economic uncertainty. The problems caused by financial insecurity manifest themselves in ways far beyond the purse strings. Dwindling cash flow has led to home foreclosures, autos repossessed, and bankruptcy filings. Of course, those things can lead to alcoholism, battered partners, and neglected or abused children. Then comes divorce, child custody battles, and in some sad cases, even suicide.

America’s Immigrants

The immigrant community, including the undocumented, often gets more than their fair share of these problems. Pretty much in the same way some companies reduce their workforce – last hired, first fired. In spite of its reliance on immigration through the decades, Americans with odd last names – right now, those of Hispanic and Filipino or Arabic heritage – are usually the first to feel the brunt of hard times and the last to experience any good times. These groups are presently marginalized because of their surnames, our porous Mexican border, and fear of Muslim fanatics.

No matter how marginalized a person may feel, no matter how bumpy their financial road, American is still a land of opportunity. Believing that they are powerless and hopeless in the face of the economic onslaught, many immigrants often throw up their hands and shrug their shoulders. They come to believe that foreclosure, car repossession, or even divorce are inevitable consequences of forces beyond their control.

America’s Hope

That is simply not true. Fate is often a cruel master, but it can be reversed, if not altogether thwarted. Consider these words by The Buddha: “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our own thoughts. With our thoughts we make our world.” As in the past, immigrants can become part of the force behind economic and social revival. Taking the words of Buddha to heart, immigrants can secure themselves in the American dream by making that dream happen all over again. Each immigrant success story is a success for America. And, as the economists say, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

America’s Positive Side

Sometimes it’s hard to accept the advice of America’s self-help gurus. The likes of Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyers, Ben Carson, and Wallace D. Wattles prescribe the power of positive thinking to overcome financial and personal problems – that positive thought is the way to riches and happiness. The cynic may note that these folks are getting rich on the hopes of others who desire riches and happiness. But hold on a minute. Didn’t your mother and countless others always tell you to eat your vegetables? Why? Because vegetables are good for you – it’s time-proven advice.

If our immigrant population would take to heart the sayings of Buddha, perhaps along with those of guys like Mr. Robbins, they could find themselves on the crest of a new economic and cultural change for the better. Any American should have goals for their lives. Mr. Robbins says to ask yourself what you truly want in life – fortune, fame, loving friends and family. He goes on to say that frustration is an exciting signal, that it shows you that you could be doing better. Probably Mr. Robbins doesn’t believe he is a present-day Buddha, and this in no way is meant to persuade folks to go plop down hundreds of dollars on a self-help course, but there is some truth to the messages rendered.

America’s New Pioneers

You cannot scoff at the power of positive thinking. Our immigrants may have once been tired, poor, homeless, tempest-tossed, and yearning to be free. Now they are in America, they are Americans, and America is counting on them to help build a new America. They need to help rescue our nation from its hopeless lack of self-confidence that so worries the other great nations of the world. And, they can do it. Our new citizens can become our new pioneers on a new frontier with new-found self-confidence.

This article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does not create any attorney-client relationship between you and the Lazaro Law Group. This article is not a solicitation.

Johnson Lazaro has been practicing law for over 25 years. For questions please call 866-237-9555 or Email:   This article should not be taken as legal advice.  This is not meant to create a lawyer-client relationship.