Sergio Casillas Carrisoza figures that at age 81, it’s never too late to respond to Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump’s attacks on Mexican immigrants.
“Well, I don’t like what he’s been saying about us,” said the Fresno resident after joining 218 other immigrants in taking the oath of U.S. citizenship last Tuesday at the Fresno Convention Center.
Casillas Carrisoza plans to cast a vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in November.
But politics wasn’t the only motivation for the Fresno resident who picked apples in Washington state after coming from his native Los Mochis, Michoacán, México 50 years ago.
He has two daughters and two grandchildren in México he wants to visit soon.
“I want to vote, but I also want to go to México,” said Casillas Carrisoza, one of 108 Mexicans who became U.S. citizens.
Casillas Carrisoza wasn’t the only new citizen looking forward to voting.
Modesto technician/engineer Rosalba Morán, 37, got in line at the Mi Familia Vota booth to register to vote immediately after the 30-minute ceremony. She even got her husband, Thomas, a warehouse supervisor, to also register.
“It’s very important,” said Morán about voting. “That’s why I did this.”
Morán – who was 26 years old when she moved to the U.S. from Puebla, México – said it also makes sense to become a U.S. citizen because her two children and family is here.
“I want to be part of this country,” said said.
José Flores, a 65-year-old Fresno resident, also registered to vote following the ceremony.
“That guy (Trump) doesn’t have much respect for us,” said Flores, who is originally from Temastian, Jalisco, México. “To tell you the truth, I’m going to vote for Mrs. Clinton.”
Flores is excited to be able to vote.
“I’ve never voted before, not even in México,” said Flores, who worked at Foster Farms for 15 years.
Vida en el Valle health reporter María G. Ortiz-Briones, the ceremony’s invited speaker, spoke about how she didn’t feel like she belonged in this country until she became naturalized in April 2015.
“Obtaining my citizenship was my American dream,” she said. “I felt I was no longer someone who didn’t belong (in this country).”
Ortiz-Briones said voting in November’s election will make “my voice count.”