Fifty-five years ago, in 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. one of the greatest Americans in all of our history, and whose birthday we celebrate today, gave his immortal "I Have a Dream" speech as part of the famous civil rights "March on Washington".

I was not present at that speech and I never had the privilege of meeting Dr. King or hearing him speak in person. But, as a young Harvard Law School graduate working in the law office of Dr. King's close friend and adviser, attorney Clarence B. Jones, I had the privilege of forming a small connection of my own with this speech.

I prepared the application to copyright the speech as part of a lawsuit filed on Dr. King's behalf by Mr. Jones' office over the right to use the speech for commercial purposes, and I also assisted in a very small way in the drafting the complaint in that lawsuit (King v. Mr. Maestro, 224 F. Supp. 101 SDNY, 1963).

While Dr. King was successful in that case, and Judge Inzer Wyatt's decision showed Dr. King a great deal of respect, I will never forget the condescending way in which the Judge described Dr. King at the beginning of his ruling as follows:

"Plaintiff, a highly educated negro clergyman..."

The implication, at least as I interpret it, is that it was unusual for a black person to be highly educated at that time, and it no doubt was, given the fact that racial segregation laws were still in force in many Southern states and the 1965 Voting Rights Act had not yet been enacted.

Though immigration was not a well publicized legal or political issue as it is now - I do not remember hearing the word "immigration" used even once during the entire time I was in law school - the openly racist, white Europeans only, 1924 "National Origins" Immigration Act was still the law of the land. It was not repealed until 1965, two years later.

But it would be fair to say that America was profoundly changed by Dr. King's "I have a Dream" speech. With that speech, his dream of racial equality for all people became part of America's culture and society - as a legitimate aspiration. This was despite the fierce opposition and persecution that he encountered at the hands of white supremacists, including some within the US government, who labelled him as a "demagogue" and even a "communist sympathizer", ultimately leading to his assassination in 1968.

On January 12, Donald Trump, as president of the United States, in an official holiday statement, paid homage to Dr. King and his ideal of the equality of all people, regardless of race or country of birth - before "celebrating" the holiday of Dr. King's birthday on January 15 by playing golf at one of Trump's own resorts!

But is the president following Dr. King's spirit of racial justice and equality today? Sadly, the answer has to be that, rather than following Dr. King, Trump is trying to undo the progress toward racial equality which Dr. King gave his life for. Trump is making it more difficult to reach a DACA solution for today's DREAMERS by insisting on measures such as eliminating the visa lottery and sharply reducing family immigration as a quid pro quo.

Trump has also made clear that, in his view, black immigrants are unwelcome in the US and only white, northern European European ones should be admitted. This is a blatant effort to return to the spirit of the bigoted "Nordics" only 1924 immigration law which Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions praised so highly as a Senator in his 2015 Immigration Handbook for Congressional Republicans, and which Adolf Hitler claimed to have been inspired by nine decades earlier in his own infamous "handbook" known to the world as Mein Kampf.

To be continued.