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San Rafael man gets U.S. citizenship at age 84

San Rafael man gets U.S. citizenship at age 84

Roberto Borge, 84, holds his certificate of naturalization at home in San Rafael, Calif. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012. Borge recently became a U.S. citizen. (IJ photo/Alan Dep) Alan Dep

2/2/2012 – Marin Independent Journal

Think you’re too old to pursue your dreams? San Rafael resident Roberto Borge, who will turn 85 this month, became a U.S. citizen in January after more than two decades in Marin.

“Even as a youngster I admired the United States,” said Borge, speaking in Spanish. “I feel like I’ve achieved the American dream.”

Borge came to Marin in 1989 from his native Nicaragua and worked for 10 years as a janitor before retiring.

Borge, a former member of the Nicaraguan military, opposed the revolutionary government that came to power in the Central American nation a decade earlier. He emigrated to the United States for political reasons.

Although Borge had been a legal resident for many years, he didn’t apply for citizenship earlier because of financial constraints and fear he would fail the written test. But Borge said he decided to apply last year after a friend in his Alma Latina social group in Novato told him low-income residents could take the test without paying hefty fees.

After studying for two months, he took the test and passed. On Jan. 24, the father of six and grandfather of 11 became a citizen during a ceremony in Oakland.

“I thought that was pretty awesome for his age,” said Denise Serpa, Borge’s granddaughter and a Richmond resident. “His English isn’t even that good. He was just so disciplined and studied.

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