Photo: Steve Nettnin

Steve N.


27, Account Manager for a Swiss Supplier

My great grandfather and great grandmother and their three children came over to the U.S. via boat from Sicily, Italy, in 1939. They were processed through Ellis Island. My great-grandmother had a brother who had already set up shop in Rochester, New York, which is the home of a lot of immigrants from Italy. We’ve been in Rochester ever since. I’m the fourth generation. We came over here and started new lives.

Why did your family come to the United States? We don’t know exactly what their motivations were. My great grandfather was in the Italian military so our thoughts are that he probably got wind of the approaching conflict and wanted to escape.

What would the U.S. be missing out on if you or your people were banned? A small convenience store owned by my grandfather, which he ran as a small business owner for 40 years.