She's one of America's newest citizens — and one of its oldest.

Watch this 101-year-old woman become an American citizen.

Becoming a U.S. citizen is a lengthy and complicated process that includes all kinds of forms, interviews, tests, and oaths.

But that didn't stop this 101-year-old woman from becoming a proud, naturalized American citizen on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015.


Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Her name is Juana Hernández.

Eight years ago, at her daughter's urging, she moved to Miami from Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

So what made her want to go all out for citizenship now?

She wanted to show her two sons back in Honduras how it's done.

“I want them to come,” she told the Miami Herald. (It's a lot easier to get an immigration visa if you're related to a U.S. citizen.)

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

The immigration process is notoriously long, difficult, and expensive.

Juana had to fill out the 21-page application for naturalization. She was also facing the challenge of a roughly $600 application filing fee. Luckily, a local organization helped her fill out the application (folks can actually face long delays or even deportation over a single mistake in the application). She was also able to apply for a fee waiver.

Many immigrants struggle to go through the overly-complicated system. It's difficult, confusing, expensive, and in many cases, it's a dead end. It's precisely because so many undocumented immigrants find themselves without a path to citizenship that President Obama has been pushing for reform.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

"We didn’t raise the Statue of Liberty with her back to the world, we did it with her light shining as a beacon to the world," President Obama said during a Nov. 21, 2014 speech, urging comprehensive reform:

"And whether we were Irish or Italians or Germans crossing the Atlantic, or Japanese or Chinese crossing the Pacific; whether we crossed the Rio Grande or flew here from all over the world — generations of immigrants have made this country into what it is. It’s what makes us special."

President Obama announces executive action on immigration in November 2014. Photo by Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images.

And while there's been a big push for immigration reform for a while, it still seems to be a ways off.

Last year, the Senate passed a bill that would have helped streamline the immigration process. Unfortunately, the bill never came up for a vote in the House of Representatives. President Obama has been able to take some action through executive order, but it's been more focused on delaying deportations rather than really fixing the system.

One of the most broken parts of the system? How visas are granted.

Right now, the U.S. government caps the number of immigration visas granted per year. It also specifically caps how many immigrants can come to the U.S. from any given country.

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to cap immigration visas by country. Think about it: Depending on the situation and what's going on in the world, those numbers need to be able to shift. We have a similar cap system in place for refugees, and that's what's led to the bottleneck for Syrian refugees. Here's what the Department of Homeland Security has to say:

"In general, family-sponsored preference visas are limited to 226,000 visas per year and employment-based preference visas are limited to 140,000 visas per year. ... In addition, there are limits to the percentage of visas that can be allotted based on an immigrant’s country of chargeability (usually the country of birth). When the demand is higher than the supply of visas for a given year in any given category or country, a visa queue (waiting list or backlog) forms."

If there wasn't this hard cap on immigrants, there wouldn't be so many undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

If we were to give immigrants a clearer path to citizenship, we wouldn't have to worry about anyone being undocumented.

It's reasonable to think that most undocumented immigrants would like to become full citizens if given the opportunity.

But a system that threatens to deport folks who want to become citizens when they come forward? That's a broken system.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

So let's hope Congress takes up immigration reform soon. It'd be a great 102nd birthday present for Juana.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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