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John Breunig (opinion): She helps others become U.S. citizens. Now she’s done the same for herself and her family. ‘This is my moment.’

eva citz

By John Breunig, The Stamford Advocate

Pardon me while I skip to the ending.

Eva Lopez Reyman became an American citizen a few weeks ago. Talk to anyone who has taken the oath and they will tell you the emotions can be intense. It’s something natural-born U.S. citizens never get to experience.

It’s a personal moment, but Eva found her own focus shifting to the 30-or-so people surrounding her. She’s an immigration legal services paralegal for Building One Community: The Center for Immigrant Opportunity in Stamford, which means her job is to help people become U.S. citizens. Yet she had never been to a naturalization ceremony until her own.

“I can understand why they cry and are so happy. I was thinking about the journey of all of them. Their stories. It’s the last step of my work as a paralegal,” she explains.

I’ve made an Independence Day tradition of sharing stories about new Americans. Every immigrant’s chronicle is as different as a fingerprint. Eva’s isn’t unique just because of her work.

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