Where are you from? Part II

Immigration IQ, Part II

Thanks for your responses! What does a US citizen look like? Funny how the people who read my blog could surmise that the answers were not easy to guess. Although race, age and gender don’t reveal who is an immigrant, in our daily interactions sometimes we believe we can guess where someone is from by the color of their skin. Also I may think that someone who speaks a world language other than English as their first language in the United States is an immigrant. However, the Census Bureau published a study that says that one out of five people in the US speaks a language other than English at home!

Scroll down for the answers and detailed information on each participant:

Which of these people are immigrants to the United States? (From Part I) B. Jill and D. Nic. Which are citizens? A. Stephany, B. Jill, and C. Diego. Which are both? Only Jill!

1. Who has lived as a Permanent Resident in the US? B. Jill and D. Nic. She is from Canada and he from England (the United Kingdom)

2. Who could run for President of the United States? A. Stephany and C. Diego were both born in the United States.

3. Which person(s) could serve on a US court jury in the year 2000? C. Of the four, only Diego could serve on a jury, because he was the only adult citizen at that time.

4. Which people voted in the 2016 Presidential election? A, Stephany, B. Jill, and C. Diego. Both Stephany and Diego have been eligible to vote since they were 18. Jill became a US Citizen in 2016 in order to be able to vote in the Presidential election.

5. Who moved to the US and lived without a Permanent Resident card in the 1960s? B. Jill, no “Green card” was necessary for a Canadian citizen to live in the United States in the 60s.

A. Stephany
B. Jill


Raul at Marcia's-1
C. Diego


D. Nic


Born in Illinois Born in Canada Born in Texas Born in England
Born in the USA

Has lived in Illinois and Mexico.

Lived in US twice: Ohio in 1963 (no Permanent Resident card needed then), back to Canada in the early 70s. In 1980s moved to MN, later to WI He and his parents were born in the US. Diego has lived in San Antonio, TX and Madison, WI. Moved to USA in 2007. Nic is a world citizen. He has lived in London, Minneapolis, and many more locations.
US citizen at birth US citizen in 2016 Lifetime US citizen UK citizen, US Permanent Resident
Voted in 2016 (and before)
Voted in 2016
Voted in 2016 (and before) Cannot vote in USA


Any surprises? I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, even gathering this information. Thank you friends, for humoring my questions. I’ll admit I knew Stephany moved from Mexico to Illinois in elementary school, but I hadn’t realized she was born in Illinois. I knew she was a US citizen, but I didn’t know she was one since birth. (Pardon me, friend.) As for Jill, I thought it was interesting how the laws changed over time and only the second time she moved to the US, did she need a Permanent Resident card. When we speak together, her English is accented with the round vowels in words like “about” frequent in Canadian English speakers.

I remember meeting Diego for the first time in a Spanish Conversation Group and asking him where he was from. (Pardon me, friend.) He was very gracious at the question, and replied a wry, “Soy de Tejas.” (I’m from Texas.) I am envious that both he and Stephany are completely bilingual in Spanish and English. In my mind, being bilingual is a coveted prize like winning the lottery. When Nic speaks his British English it often (always?) sparks the response “Where are you from?” He is compelled to entertain that insatiable curiosity about origins that we have in the United States. As he likes to say, “Everyone has an accent!” Thank you for your time, friends, and for sharing your stories.

I would love to hear your opinions about these questions and answers!

Gracias! Olé! -Rebecca

Para leer este ensayo en español, haz un clic en ¿Quién es el/la inmigrante? 2a parte el viernes.

Rebecca Cuningham

7 thoughts on “Where are you from? Part II

  1. This is a great post! You’re right, it’s basically impossible to determine who is an immigrant or not based on their outward appearance or accent/language. But we all carry inherent biases of some sort, and probably have all made a mistake at one point or another about someone’s origin or citizenship status.

    I also find our (American) interest in other people’s ethnicity / origin quite fascinating. I’ve heard lots of people say that they prefer not to be asked about their ethnicity / origin, because although they may have the physical characteristics or accent of people in another country, they are Americans (now or potentially since birth). I’ve been trying to hold back my personal curiosity and questions until I know if someone would be open to discussing their heritage. Have other people experienced this, either being asked about your heritage and liking or disliking it, or wanting to ask but holding back?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great! It reminded me that one of my dearest, longest known family friends id German. Her husband met her while he was stationed in Germany in the 1950s! He brought her to the U.S. and married her when she was 18 or 20 years of age. She had to learn English and acclimate to U.S. culture. She’s one of the smartest people I know. And her influence in my life has made me a much more of a culturally aware person. ❤️🦋🌀

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s