By Tommy Wells
Ranger College SID/Public Information
Sonia Vasquez can officially say she is home.
After having lived and worked in Eastland County for more than three decades, the 54-year resident of Ranger officially became a resident of the United States of America on Aug. 21, 2018. She was among a handful of former immigrants that were sworn in as U.S. citizens during a special ceremony in Irving.
“I’m very excited,” said Vasquez, who works at Rescare Home Health Services in Eastland. “I appreciate everyone who has helped me accomplish this. I was to thank District Judge (Steven) Herod, Ranger First Baptist Church pastor Robby Neyland, Brother G (Ranger Ministerial Alliance president Gerald Gustanson), as well as my family and God.”
Vasquez, who has resided in Ranger for much of her life, said she initially came to Texas from Mexico in the late 1980s. Since then, she has worked various jobs in the area, including spending several years as a member of the custodial staff at Ranger College.
About 15 months ago, her dream of becoming a U.S. citizen picked up speed. In May 2017, her application to become a naturalized citizens was accepted by the Department of Homeland Security. After successfully passing a citizenship test and related Homeland Security checks over the ensuing months, her goal of becoming one of 360 million Americans was approved. On Monday, Vazquez took the oath of allegiance from officials with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
For Vasquez, becoming an American citizen couldn’t come at a better time. Being a legal resident means she would finally have the right to vote.
“I want to vote in the election in November,” she said. “I have already gone and registered to vote.”