Four generations of family joined Donatila Leticia Munoz Orantes at the Baltimore office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Wednesday, celebrating not only her citizenship, but also her 100th birthday.
“I can’t have a better blessing than having my mother live a hundred years,” her daughter Maria Ward told News4's Kristin Wright Tuesday.
Munoz became the oldest Maryland resident to naturalize since the former Immigration and Naturalization’s immigration services were placed with USCIS in 2003. Why now, after almost three decades in the United States? Munoz told Wright she wants to vote.
The seamstress was born in Nicaragua in 1914 and spent most of her life in El Salvador before joining her daughter in the U.S. in 1987, Wright reported. She helped care for the grandchildren and made clothes for family, including for occasions like first communion, weddings and graduations.
In 1987, naturalization wasn’t an option for Munoz because she doesn’t speak English, a requirement that drops at age 80.
Now, the Germantown resident looks forward to casting her first ballot in November.