Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a swearing-in ceremony of one Ignacia Moya, a 106-year-old native Mexican woman, who has spent the last 20 years of her life attempting to become a United States citizen after failing the test the first time. She was brought to the States by her son in 1970, who is now in his 80s himself. It took place at La Casa Michoacan in Pilsen.
People have asked, why did she wait so long? What was the issue. Well, see, 20 years ago when she was 86 you had to take the test in English and it didn’t cost so much. My mom paid $60 when she became a citizen. Now it costs about $700 and for the entire process, close to $1000. So how many people have the money for that? Especially in these times?
Secondly, like I said, the only option to take the test was in English. Now, if you’re over a certain age, you can take the test in your native language. They take into consideration that it’s harder for a person over a certain age to learn a language or it’s hard for them to read or see. There is also an option to take an oral examination, where the questions are asked aloud.
Well, this time that Moya took the test, services over at Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez’s offices helped her out and asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to waive the fee for her. I mean, she’s 106, what kind of damage is this woman going to do now as an American citizen? Well, they waived it.
The two reasons why she wanted to become a citizen was because her children were and she wanted to be like them, and she wanted to vote, something that she has never done in her life.
Of course, Gutierrez was there. Of course. Because of his office she got her citizenship straightened out and he must be there to maintain his glory.
I’m just going to tell you the real story here. Have you ever seen a 106-year-old person? I mean, they may be alive, but they can barely walk, this woman couldn’t see any more and I’m even surprised that she could hear. I honestly don’t think she knew what was going on. I kind of felt bad for her.
This woman had to wait this long. And have you ever heard about those kids that go into the Army, who don’t have papers or are residents and die in the honor of the country and are THEN given citizenship? It’s insane. They legalize a corpse.
My question is, is this what’s going to happen now? I mean, it’s ludicrous to know that there are so many legal permanent residents in this country who can’t afford to become citizens and are just sitting on it. This woman was going to die without being a citizen just because she didn’t pass the exam 20 years ago and didn’t have the means to actually try again. I mean, she couldn’t afford it. She’s now a great-great-great grandmother. Five generations of her family were present yesterday at her ceremony. Like Gutierrez said, her devotion to this country and assets to it are clear. Look at the family she has. But what about so many other families who are living and can’t or won’t be able to enjoy a moment like this?
Of course the politicians were there basking in the glory of the moment and this story was used to rebut the Arizona state bill 1070 that’s happening over there. Gutierrez made it a point to explain that the city council members present were also immigrants and naturalized citizens of the country and that immigration was a good thing, not a bad thing– something he’s been preaching for years.
I guess this blog is more of a bunch of random thoughts being thrown out there because there really isn’t a point here, is there?
Will this woman actually enjoy her citizenship? I don’t think so. What was this whole thing proving? That a person can wait until passed their deathbed for something that so many people want and can’t have? In the last 20 years, over 50,000 people have been naturalized citizens in this country. That’s great. But what about the rest of them? They give this poor woman, who doesn’t know any different, a privilege that many people can’t afford to have, that could be used to their benefit of a better life. I’m not saying that it’s a waste, because it most definitely is not. This is satisfaction for a woman and her family that have been fighting for this privilege.
A ton of media were present at this event. Why? Was it just a fascinating story or were they going to curve it to their advantage as well? What was the real story here? That’s what I’m asking. I’m going to attempt to get to the bottom of it myself this Friday. I’ll let everyone know what happens.
Citizenship shouldn’t be offered just to those who can afford it, but to everyone who is eligible for it. — paraphrased from Cong. Gutierrez.