Credit: Agencia Efe / YouTube
They became citizens so they could help other immigrants.
Ignacio Villegas Arellano and his wife, Maria Guadalupe Correa de Villegas, have been legal permanent residents of the United states since 1968. But then the rise of Donald Trump happened, prompting the 101-year-old Villegas Arellano to become a full-fledged citizen . His 94-year-old wife followed his lead just one week after his April 19 naturalization. Though they were in the country legally, the couple says that Trump’s insistence on deporting undocumented Mexican immigrants left them scared they would be rounded up, as well. Ignacio was a farmworker, traveling between the U.S. and Mexico for years before settling in California, thanks in large part to his children.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla was at the naturalization in Fresno and praised the couple on their accomplishment.
— Alex Padilla (@AlexPadilla4CA) April 20, 2016
Credit: @AlexPadilla4CA / Twitter
“For many, applying to become a citizen can be frightening and the process can be intimidating,” Secretary Padilla told mitú in an emailed statement. “I know this on a personal level. My mother and father became citizens almost twenty years ago. I remember my parents worry as they studied for the citizenship test. Like Mr. Villegas, they were successful. Mr. Villegas can now be a louder voice for his community and help shape the direction of our state and our nation.”