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Celebrating Citizenship After 36 Years

September 29, 2016
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Josefina Anguiano moved to the United States from Michoacan, Mexico in 1979. She came to California alone and undocumented.

She lived there with her brother for five years, eventually moving out and living on her own.

Josefina worked hard and received her green card in 1987. She later married, and has three children and two grandchildren.

“I’d always wanted to elect my community and country representatives, but I didn’t have enough money to apply for naturalization,” says Josefina.

She was especially encouraged to apply for citizenship when her husband naturalized in 2012.

Several months ago, she learned about naturalization application fee waivers through a Spanish language Facebook post by the Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD), a New Americans Campaign partner.

Josefina contacted OCCORD, and with the help of Luis Vega, the citizenship program coordinator, she learned that she qualified for the waiver.

She quickly and excitedly pursued citizenship, and OCCORD helped her complete the application and prepare for the civics test.

Josefina was a green card holder for 29 years when she applied for citizenship, making her eligible to take the exam in Spanish. She passed on her first try.

This September, Josefina took the Oath of Allegiance and is now proud to call herself a U.S. citizen.

“If you are eligible for citizenship, you should apply!” says Josefina. “I am so happy that after 37 years of living in the United States, I’m a citizen now and I can vote. Being able to vote in America has been a dream of mine, and I’ve finally achieved this dream now.”