"Aurora, Colorado (CNN) Tania Nava has one piece of advice for anyone seeking to come out of the shadows and pursue a path to U.S. citizenship: don't do it.
She says her decision to become a legal citizen is one of the reasons her husband was murdered.
"I should've stayed illegal this whole time," the 21-year old widow said. "Jake would still be here."
Jake Reyes-Neal, an American citizen, had traveled to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, last year to protect his wife as she waited for the long, complicated process to attain U.S. citizenship. Instead, Reyes-Neal -- who had never been to Mexico and didn't speak Spanish -- became one of the thousands of homicide victims in Juarez as his family watched helplessly."