106-Year-Old Woman Becomes U.S. Citizen

Ingacia Moya wants to vote in November

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCChicago.com
    Ingacia Moya

    It had been a long time coming and she needed a little help, but Ingacia Moya raised her right hand Monday morning and made a long-awaited dream come true.

    She's frail, blind and has trouble with her hearing, but at 106 years old, Moya proved that you're never too old to become an American citizen.

    "All her kids are here, her grand kids and her great-grand kids. She wanted to be... a part of us," said her great-grandson George Bojorquez, who along other family member, joined Moya as she took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America Monday morning in Pilsen.

    "Accepto!" she called out.

    Moya is already a legal resident of the United States, having moved here almost 40 years ago from Mexico when she was in her 70s. In 1986, she studied for the citizenship exam but didn't understand English well enough to pass it.

    Learning English proved too difficult as she lost her sight and hearing, but Rep. Luis Gutiérrez assisted her with getting a medical waiver, and last Friday she completed a final interview with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    "She loves the country so much, that she wants to make sure that even at 106 years of age, she becomes a citizen of the United States of America," said Gutiérrez .

    But Moya's not done dreaming.

    Bojorquez, who served in the United States Marine Corps., said his great grandmother still wants the opportunity to vote in November.

    "The other thing is that she wanted to vote, too. So I'm glad for her," he said. "Hopefully I'll be helping her [to the polls]."

    When asked how she felt, Moya said "muy bien!"

    Nationwide, there are two or three other people who were older than Moya when they became U.S. citizens. The oldest was a 117-year-old woman from Turkey.