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Romana Acostra Banuelos was deported to Mexico at age 6, where she lived until she was finally able to return to the U.S. in 1947.
In 1971, Banuelos became the first Mexican-American appointed as treasurer of the United States.
Banuelos was born to a family of illegal immigrants living in the border town of Miami, Arizona. In 1933, the family was forced to return to Mexico, where Banuelos lived until 1947. In the intervening years, she married, had two children, and was divorced.
After migrating to Los Angeles at age 19, Banuelos took a small tortilla factory and built it into the largest Mexican food business in California. Her other successful business ventures included the Pan-American Bank. As a community activist, she worked improve the conditions of Hispanic-Americans.