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'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall'

Street Smarts



Our forebears came to what is now America from elsewhere — even Native Americans. There were no walls, though, barring our Puritan forebears entry.

  • Julia Archer

Julia Archer of the west side is a yoga teacher.

Is immigration a hot-button political issue for you? It is. So much energy and resources are put into things like building a giant wall. It's inhumane to demonize people who flee intolerable conditions in a desperate attempt to survive. This world is in desperate need of more kindness, not walls.

Where did your forebears come from? France and England on one side. The other side — the Jewish side — left Germany and Russia around WWII.

Has your citizenship ever been questioned? I'm probably too white and comfortably middle class for mine ever to be questioned.

How would you react if it were? I'd be enraged and horrified. Also frightened.

Other than being born here, what's the most important criteria for citizenship? Willingness to contribute to our country's well-being.

  • Josh Delgrado

Josh Delgrado of eastern Pueblo is a farmer.

Is immigration a hot-button issue for you? I'm not big on political issues. I'm more concerned about practical, money-based things like taxes and the national debt. I welcome anybody wanting to come here, though. Trust me, as farmers we count on immigrants to help work our fields.

Where did your ancestors come here from? Italy — first to the East Coast, and to Pueblo from there in order to farm.

How would you react if your citizenship were questioned? I'd be angry, maybe even hostile.

Should military service earn a foreign-born person citizenship? Absolutely. Anybody who puts his or her life on the line for this country deserves citizenship.

  • Tyrone Arcila

Tyrone Arcila of Old Colorado City is a life coach and personal trainer.

Unless you're Native American, your ancestors immigrated here. Where did yours originate? My mother and father came here from Colombia in the 1960s. I'm first-generation American.

Does your family have coming-to-America stories? My parents were in the wave of Latinos who immigrated to New York City in the 1960s. That made Latinos the new lowest-kids-on-the-block. My parents hid their language to avoid notice by people who resented the Latino influx.

Is immigration a hot-button political issue for you? Sure it is, but I'm largely apolitical. Everybody's family came here from someplace else, often not many generations ago. It says a lot about people who fixate on a term like "illegal" rather than feel compassion for the incredible difficulties that immigrants face.

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