ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) – This citizenship ceremony is all the more special for one Fredericksburg woman. At 66 years old, Zofia Dubicka just recently discovered that she was not a U.S. citizen.
"When I went to apply for my social security, they told me I was not...And I said, it can't be," she explained.
Dubicka’s family came to the U.S. when she was just three years old. Her father became a naturalized citizen, and she believed that this automatically made her a naturalized citizen as well.
"I'm just devastated," she said. "The last three weeks, I've had moments where I'm still in shock. I've had moments where I've cried."
Dubicka began working at the age of 16, got a security social card, a driver’s license, and finished her education. She also got married and raised a family. She managed to do these things with the only document she had -- an alien registration card.
Then three weeks ago, her immigration investigator discovered that when she was born, her family was in a refugee labor camp.
“It turns out, even though she was born in Germany, she was not considered a German citizen due to their citizenship laws, so she's actually Polish,” explained immigration officer Patricia Smith.
It was all a part of her past, and Dubicka had absolutely no idea. But she says that it does make sense in one way:
"Now I know why I'm the way I am -- my father was a very strong person."
At Tuesday’s naturalization ceremony, Dubicka finally became the citizen she always thought she was.