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100-year-old becomes U.S. citizen

UPI News Service, 06/01/2006 

Maria Soledad Sarabia Lagareta, a 100-year-old woman who wanted to vote in America before she dies, took an oath in Honolulu and became a U.S. citizen.

"I was born in Mexico but I am an American," she said, dressed in a brightly colored muumuu and sunflower hat as her 61-year-old son Roland translated after the naturalization ceremony.

Soledad, as she is known in the family, has been in the United States for 79 years, the Honolulu Star Bulletin said.

She was born on Mexico's west coast in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, in 1906. Orphaned at age 12 when her father died in the 1918 influenza pandemic, she moved with her two sisters to Los Angeles in 1927.

Soledad worked as a seamstress in Hollywood before moving to Hawaii in 1976 to be closer to her sons, Roland and Bruce, who had moved to the islands seven years earlier. Her husband, Robert, died in the 1960s.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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