103-year-old North Miami woman granted US citizenship

NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - A 103-year-old North Miami woman has been sworn in as a United States citizen after living more than 15 years in the country.

Andrea Joseph was sworn in at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services building in Miami, Friday.

Saturday afternoon, her daughter, granddaughter and great-grandnephew surrounded her as she proudly held up her citizenship diploma.

“We’re excited to celebrate Andrea Joseph, who just got her citizenship and became a United States citizen,” said McKenzie Fleurimond, Joseph’s great-grandnephew. “As a grandnephew of Andrea, it’s a great pleasure.”

“We told her that she was going to be a citoyen, which is a citizen in Creole French,” said Mildred Ogé, her granddaughter. “She was excited, elated, overjoyed even, that she finally can become a citizen of the United States of America, so it’s definitely a great milestone in her life at the age of 103.”

Joseph’s family said she entered the U.S. as a permanent resident more than 15 years ago.

In an email, Ogé said, “I’m not sure, but she may be the oldest citizen in her ZIP code … We are proud of this moment.”

Fleurimond, a North Miami Beach commissioner, said he is particularly excited to see his great-grand aunt vote next year.

“I’m looking very forward to that, bringing her to the polls for the first time,” he said.

Joseph was born on Aug. 15, 1915 in Jacmel, Haiti, her family said.

Translating for her grandmother, Ogé said there’s a history of longevity in her family.

“She just wants to say, ‘Thank God that her grandfather lived to be 110 years old.’ That’s what she’s attributing her age to,” said Ogé. “In addition to that, she just wants to thank God that she’s now able to be a United States citizen.”

Ogé also revealed one of the things her grandmother does to stay young.

“She does enjoy being in the outdoors, she does like traveling. Yeah, she likes to travel now,” said Ogé. “She does enjoy the outdoors, being in the sun, taking some of that natural sunlight, so she enjoys those things.”

Joseph is a role model for her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and she enjoys going on road trips to visit them.

“As a family, she’s a matriarch, so she’s definitely setting an example that no matter how old you are, you can still accomplish your goals, your dreams, your vision,” said Fleurimond, “and she’s really given us a burst of energy and a burst of fresh air, so that we could put our minds to our goals and definitely achieve them, so this is a great thing.”

Joseph’s family said they are excited to celebrate her 104th birthday this August, and they’re sure she has many years left.

Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.