The path to United States citizenship is narrow, often coming with a long wait and thousands of dollars in application fees. For undocumented immigrants, obtaining legal status is virtually impossible.
By the numbers
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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services receives approximately 6 million applications for permanent residency a year, commonly referred to as green card. The green card is the gateway to naturalization, with applicants required to have one for three to five years before they can be eligible for naturalization. According to data provided by the Department of Homeland Security, in 2015 just over 1 million green cards were granted. Of those applicants, 44 percent were immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and an additional 20 percent were family-sponsored. Just under 14 percent of
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