U.S. citizenship test would challenge many U.S. citizens to pass

citizenship oath after passing us citizenship test

After passing the U.S.citizenship test, applicants recite the citizenship oath in a formal naturalization ceremony. Image: The White House

The U.S. citizenship test is a step immigrants must take when they apply to become “naturalized.” For years, the U.S. citizenship test has been compiled from a list of  standard questions on topics that most people are expected to learn in elementary school. Whether many U.S. citizens by birth and certain political candidates could pass the test is a legitimate question.

No green card, no U.S. citizenship test

To avoid having to renew their green cards every 10 years in order to stick around, documented immigrants must take the U.S. citizenship test. Green card holders that have lived in the U.S. for at least four years and nine months are eligible to apply for naturalization. Green card holders who are married to U.S. citizens only have to wait two years and nine months. Undocumented immigrants must leave the country for 10 years, then come back and get a green card, then they’re on the clock.

Why immigrants should take the test

For legal immigrants who take the U.S. citizenship test, the effort is definitely worth it. As U.S. citizens, they can get all the things Americans are entitled to, such as Social Security, tax breaks, job benefits, scholarships, a U.S. passport and the right to vote. Plus, if they have children 18 and younger they become citizens without having to take the U.S. citizenship test. To pass the test, applicants have to score at least 60 percent. About 92 percent are successful, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services.

Voters, candidates should take the test

The U.S. citizenship test includes questions about the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. flag, U.S. holidays, the federal government and American history. The test is redesigned periodically with a new set of questions. Sample questions cover subjects such as the number of stars in the flag, the opponent in the Revolutionary War and amendments to the constitution. Failed Delaware Republican Senate Candidate Christine O’Donnell made headlines during the midterm election campaign by demonstrating her ignorance in a debate of the First Amendment, which includes principles enforcing the separation of church and state.

Sources

Christian Science Monitor

Path2USA

About.com

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