I’m sure some of my readers have heard this story, but it is so compelling, I thought I would tell it again. Late last year, a 101-year-old woman by the name of Eulalia Garcia-Maturey celebrated a milestone. No, it wasn’t her birthday, though many would eagerly congratulate her on such a feat. Eulalia was marking the century-old anniversary of her crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.

In 1909, the months-old Garcia-Maturey and her mother crossed the border into Brownsville, Texas, looking for a better life. Decades later, in 1941, she received a “Certificate of Lawful Entry” card, which was then part of the World War II alien registration laws. Eulalia kept that card through the years, which helped to establish her citizenship in October 2010.

What’s truly awesome about her story is that Eulalia understood what an honor it is to be called a United States citizen. And even though she may have entered this country under questionable means, when the time came, she knew she wanted to make it right and apply for her right to live here legally. Her quote said it all last year: “I want to spend the rest of my days in this life living legally in the United States. I was raised here, and I want to die here.”

What a tremendous example of the mindset that policymakers and current illegals should have when addressing the U.S.’s immigration laws today. No matter what, those who entered this country through any means other than legally should want to do the right thing and apply for residency and/or their citizenship. How many more Eulalias are eager to come to this blessed land and leave such a God-fearing legacy for their family and friends, yet they are denied or forced to wait because so many illegal immigrants have clogged our country and prevented a rational solution to such a desperate problem.

America is the greatest nation on earth because of how she welcomed those from foreign lands. But there is a right way and a wrong way to structure the rules by which we let them in. If we are to truly solve this burgeoning problem, we need the attitude that Eulalia Garcia-Maturey exhibited so many decades ago.

Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside.