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Reasons immigrants come to the United States

Immigrants come to California, and to the United States in general, for a whole host of different reasons. Every case is unique, with many factors to consider, and that's part of the reason that this can be a rather long and complex process.

That said, a general understanding of why people choose to immigrate can illustrate some of the trends and show what paths these immigrants tend to follow.

For example, one study found that the No. 1 reason for immigration was for work. In the study, that was the reported reason for 1.2 million people. They were looking for new jobs and career opportunities.

Not far behind, though, was the desire to be with family members. That's why around 1 million people entered the United States. Family-based immigration often happens after one person enters the country and establishes a new life for themselves, but they then want to bring their relatives over so they can all live together with those they love.

Just slightly below that, with 990,000 immigrants, was the desire to attend school. Young people often come to the United States to utilize programs and school systems they may not have in their home countries. They understand that this is a fundamental step that can shape the course of their lives -- perhaps leading to a successful career and the desire to have their family immigrate to join them.

These are just the top three reasons, and there are potentially many more for people in unique circumstances. Regardless of why they want to immigrate, it's important for them to understand all of the legal steps they need to take.

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