99-year-old woman sworn in as an American citizen
Wed, 14 Aug 2013 23:25:40 GMT —
Elia Guzman de Salinas waited almost a century to see one of her dreams come true.
With tears in her eyes, the 99-year-old woman was sworn in as an American citizen on Wednesday afternoon.
It was standing room only at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services building for the ceremony.
Surrounded by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren, Elia raised her right hand and was sworn in.
Elia told Action 4 News that she first came to the United States from Mexico with her mother at 2 years old.
Without a father, Elia said they had to work hard to make ends meet.
"I worked a lot in the fields, the 99-year-old woman said. My mom didn't have a husband, so we all had to help and we worked hard."
Married at 16 years old, Elia said she returned to Mexico with her husband but came back with her nine children after he passed away.
Elia said her children took the measures to become naturalized citizens but she never did.
Her daughter Andrea Estrada said it wasn't until she was in danger of losing medical assistance that the 99-year-old woman took the final steps to become a citizen.
"The government is helping her go to the clinic and doctor's appointments and get three medicines that she needs, Estrada said. And in order to keep receiving that care she needed to be a U.S. Citizen."
Elia said she filled out several questionnaires needed by the government, some of which were returned and had to be redone.
But in the end, it was it was all worth it.
"Before I died, I wanted to accomplish my dream of becoming a U.S. citizen, and thanks be to God I was able to reach that goal," Elia said.
Elisa said she TMs looking forward to enjoying the rights that many Americans take for granted, especially voting.
She's happy that she's now 100 percent American.