Nicolas Valladares was determined to become a citizen. He emigrated from Mexico to Los Angeles, California in 1978, and upon his arrival took a bus to Chicago. He called Schiller Park home for 10 years and later moved to the Pilsen neighborhood where he eventually purchased a home with his family. During his time in the states, Nicolas applied and received his residency. “ I no longer felt afraid to live in this country,” said Nicolas.
Despite feeling more secure, he wanted the opportunity to stay longer in Mexico without the residency traveling restriction. It was during an announcement at St. Procopius Church that he learned about The Resurrection Project’s (TRP) citizenship workshops. His decision to sign up for the citizenship workshop changed his life.
He began going through the citizenship process with TRP’s Immigration Department. He was excited but worried because although the test was in Spanish, he could not read or write.
Nicolas found a cassette recorder and got a family friend to record the answers and questions to the civics test for him to study. He came to TRP a few times to go over the questions and answers to the test. “I studied and pushed myself, because I just had to pass,” said Nicolas. As a result of his perseverance, he was invited to a private event to meet former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Last summer, Nicolas passed his citizenship test and following his ceremony applied for his passport. He was so proud and thankful that he stopped by the TRP office to have his picture taken holding his certificate. “I don’t know how to read or write, and I was afraid to fail – but I persevered,” said Nicolas happily.
Nicolas is just one of the many “Faces of TRP” campaign that introduces you to community leaders, families enjoying a safe and affordable apartment, individuals who are building a strong financial foundation, and supporters like you.
For more information about TRP’s immigration services please call Guadalupe Raymundo, 312-666-5476.