Year: 2015

LOS ANGELES — Saul Montoya had his green card for 35 years before he decided to become a U.S. citizen. It was his wife Leticia, who is a U.S. citizen herself, who finally convinced him.

“My wife inspired me, saying, ‘If I leave before you, I don’t want to leave you like this,’” said Montoya.

The idea that if she died before him, he could still be vulnerable to deportation as a green card holder was enough to change his mind. He decided to apply for naturalization in March 2015. In June, he became a U.S. citizen.