The Answer Man

Two months into Gustavo Arellano's book tour for ¡Ask a Mexican!, a collection of many of his weekly columns, the U.S. Senate killed immigration reform — again. Arellano didn't need to hear the news to know what had happened; he could tell just by the intensity of his e-mail. "When the column started, sure, we got the crazies," he says. "But with the discussion of the bill in the Senate, I've been getting more and more of the nasty e-mails — violent stuff because of amnesty: 'You cockroaches are going to go back to cleaning our toilets.' The way the death of this bill is being celebrated by people like Tom Tancredo, it's like they have the head of Osama bin Laden."

Arellano will be in Tancredo country tonight for a free 7:30 p.m. book signing at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. But although the country's most notorious opponent of illegal immigration is a Colorado congressman, Arellano — the California-born son of a tomato canner and an illegal — says his column gets a good response in Denver. And he's certain that his talk on what he's dubbed the Reconquista tour will do the same. "I'll read excerpts from the book, I'll have some remarks, and then I always open it up to questions and answers," he says. And just in case you don't get to ask your question, Arellano promises an all-Colorado column in the July 12 issue of Westword.

For more information on Arellano's appearance, go to For more of his spicy advice, turn to page 9.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun