Brownsville, Texas (CNN) — Eulalia Garcia Maturey has outlived two husbands, her two children and decades of bygone immigration laws. At 101, Maturey will become a U.S. citizen on the 101st anniversary of her crossing into the United States from Mexico.
The naturalization ceremony will take place Tuesday afternoon in a federal courtroom in Brownsville, Texas, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Maturey described the feeling of becoming a citizen with one word: “Libre,” Spanish for “free.”
And then in a feisty Spanish voice that makes it hard to believe she’s only 4-foot-7, she explained why becoming a citizen at this late stage of her life is so important.
“I want to spend the rest of my days in this life living legally in the United States,” Maturey told CNN this week. “I was raised here, and I want to die here.”
Maturey also said she feels American in every way but knows that technically she’s not an American, at least not yet.