The undocumented law graduate who fought for nearly five years to be allowed to practice in California has a new piece of paper to display alongside his Juris Doctor diploma: A certificate of U.S. citizenship.

Sergio Garcia was sworn in as a U.S. citizen last month—25 years after arriving in the country from his native Mexico with his family, and five years after becoming the first undocumented immigrant admitted to the bar since 2008. Attaining citizenship marks the end of a long, bureaucratic journey for Garcia, who now has a thriving solo personal injury practice in Chico, California. His dogged pursuit of a legal career opened doors for other undocumented lawyers in California and other states.

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