Citizenship hopefuls get paperwork help

May 12, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Congressman Luis Gutierrez held a workshop at Benito Juarez High School Saturday.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was there to lend his support.

Among the people applying for citizenship: 90-year-old great great grandmother Teresa Lopez.

She's been a permanent resident since 1996 but, her family says she knows all the answers to the questions.

And she wants to serve as a role model to her family.

Emanuel helped her with her paperwork.

"She wants to do it to show an example for our family," said Lopez's grandson Roman Carreon.

"My father came in 1959 to settle the family in Chicago," Emanuel said. "And what I see in this room, you'll gain in citizenship, and we as Chicagoans and as Americans gain people who believe in the American dream."

Congressman Gutierrez developed the model for citizen workshops in his district in the early 90's.

Since then, more than 50,000 citizens have been helped through the process.

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