America Inside Out


I just saw the episode of America Inside Out with Katie Couric and your interview with Ms. Couric and I thought I would like to write a note and say thank you on behalf of immigrants in this country for your courage and compassion but more importantly for your openness to embrace immigrants.

It is great to know that the writing on the Statue of Liberty still means something among Americans like yourself. I came to live in the Bronx, New York in late 1971 not by choice but my mother’s marriage to my stepfather. I recently became a naturalized American citizen; I was originally born in Venezuela (world news will tell you the mess my country of birth is currently going through). I met and married my wife here and our three sons were born here. My wife is a first grade teacher and has been for over 30 years.

Mr. Cullen I must tell you listening to you, really brings back my faith in humanity and my adopted country; if more people took the time to establish a dialogue and not point a finger to an immigrant there is no telling what working together can do.

I am grateful to this country for the blessings and opportunity it has provided my family. I am grateful for the teachers in high school who guided me: Rosemarie Rizzo-Tolk, Maria Rodriguez, Claire Masur. These individuals looked beyond a kid who could barely put sentences together in English and provided hope and wonder to discover not only a new country, a new way of life and like you embraced those that were different and decided that we can learn many things from each other instead of blaming the ills of the world on immigrants.

I realize immigration is a hot button issue and I don’t pretend to have all the solutions but if you ask me, you have certainly hit on something.


Bronx, N.Y.