106-year-old woman becomes US citizen

July 19, 2010 (CHICAGO)

ABC 7's Theresa Gutierrez was there when Moya took the oath of citizenship.

Dreams of citizenship and voting finally are fulfilled for 106-year-old Ignacia Moya. Monday, at Casa Michoacan in Pilsen, she was administered the oath of citizenship and became America's newest -- and one of its oldest -- Americans after accepting the responsibility of becoming a citizen.

Moya was surrounded by her daughter, son, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.

"She's been through a lot of things. Been in the emergency room and almost passed away, but didn't give up," said Rosa Ramirez, Moya's granddaughter.

"She said all her children were citizens of the United states, and she just wanted to be just like them, and she said this November she wanted to do something she hasn't been able to do in 106 years, and that is vote," said U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, (D) Chicago.

Twenty years ago, at age 86, Moya applied for citizenship but was denied the chance because her English was not good enough to pass the civics and language test. Her family requested Congressman Gutierrez obtain a special waiver to expedite the process.

"Apparently there wasn't somebody there to tell her her rights those years ago. She could have taken the exam in another language," said Gutierrez.

Following the ceremony, Congressman Gutierrez presented Moya with a flag that has flown over the Capitol dome.

In addition, Moya also obtained an application for a voting card.

"She did want to become a citizen. She did talk about that. And now she is," said George Bojorquez, Moya's great grandson.

In preparation for Monday Ignacia Moya underwent a criminal background check and just last week completed a final interview with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Now she is ready to celebrate being the oldest individual to become a naturalized citizen of the United States of America at age 106.

Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.