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Reflections of July 4th: Citizenship: New Americans

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To most Americans, Citizenship in the United States is something that was acquired simply by being born in this country.  However, millions of people from other countries become U.S. citizens by applying for it. The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service reviews their applications every year to determine who is eligible to share in the freedom of this country.  Every year the rules and regulations governing entry change. Sometimes you are granted citizenship due to your special political circumstances. But for the most part, you must meet certain criteria that are established by congress (click here for the exact law)

Two of the eligibility requirements for citizenship are 1)  you must be able to read, write and speak basic English and 2)  you must also have a basic knowledge of U.S. History and Government. After the alien applies for Citizenship, the application is reviewed and if accepted they are given a date on which they  will be interviewed by an INS officer.  If an election is pending in the coming year, the appointments are given quickly. If not, the applicant can wait as long as 721 days.

At the appointment , the INS officer  will test them on their ability to read, write and speak basic English.   The officer tells them to write something like “I love my mother”  on a piece of paper. Then he gives a sentence to read out loud like ” The boy threw a ball”. Believe it or not, there are people that do not pass this test.

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

10 questions on U.S. History and Government are asked.  Prior to this appointment a study guide is  received in the mail by the applicant.  It has 96 questions that the INS officer will choose from to ask. You must correctly answer 6 out of 10 of the ones you are asked.  Are they difficult? Below are the questions that must be studied. To see the answers scroll the screen to the right. See how many you actually know.

Finally, if the applicant passed all the criteria including the testing that is described above,  a swearing in ceremony is held, the Pledge of Allegiance is recited. A  American Citizen is created!

 

QUESTIONS ASKED AT THE CITIZENSHIP EXAM

What are the colors of our flag? Red, white, and blue
What do the stars on the flag mean? One for each state
How many stars are there on our flag? 50
What color are the stars on our flag? White
How many stripes are there on the flag? 13
What do the stripes on the flag represent? The first 13 states
What colors are the stripes on the flag? Red and white
How many states are there in the Union (the United States)? 50
What do we celebrate on the 4th of July? Independence Day
Independence Day celebrates independence from whom? England
What country did we fight during the Revolutionary War? England
Who was the first president of the United States? George Washington
Who is the President of the United States today? George W. Bush
Who is the Vice President of the United States today? Dick Cheney
Who elects the President of the United States? The Electoral College
Who becomes our President if the President dies? The Vice President
What is the Constitution? The supreme law of the land
What do we call changes to the Constitution? Amendments
How many changes, or amendments, are there to the Constitution? 27*
What are the three branches of our Government? Executive, Judicial, and Legislative
What is the legislative branch of our Government? Congress
What makes up Congress? The Senate and the House of Representatives
Who makes the Federal laws in the United States? Congress
Who elects Congress? The citizens of the United States
How many Senators are there in Congress? 100
For how long do we elect each Senator? 6 years
Name the two Senators from your state. Bob Graham and Connie Mack
How many voting members are in the House of Representatives? 435
For how long do we elect each member of the House of Representatives? 2 years
Who is the head of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government? The President
For how long is the President elected? 4 years
Name the highest part of the Judiciary Branch of our Government? The Supreme Court
What are the duties of the Supreme Court? To interpret and explain the laws
What is the supreme law of the United States? The Constitution
What is the Bill of Rights? The first 10 amendments to the Constitution
What is the capital of the state you live in? Tallahassee
Who is the current governor of the state you live in? Jeb Bush
Who becomes President if both the President and Vice President die? Speaker of the House
Who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? William Rehnquist*
What were the 13 original states? Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Georgia
Who said, “Give me liberty or give me death? Patrick Henry
Name some countries that were our enemies during World War II? Germany, Italy, and Japan
What was the 49th state added to our Union (the United States)? Alaska
How many full terms can a President serve? 2
Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.? A civil rights leader
What are some of the requirements to be eligible to become President? Candidates for President must: be natural born citizens, be at least 35 years old, have lived in the United States for at least 14 years.
Why are there 100 senators in the United States Senate? Each state elects two
Who nominates judges for the Supreme Court? The President
How many Supreme Court justices are there? 9
Why did the Pilgrims come to America? To gain religious freedom
What is the head executive of a state government called? Governor
What is the head executive of a city government called? Mayor
What holiday was celebrated for the first time by American Colonists? Thanksgiving
Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Jefferson
When was the Declaration of Independence adopted? July 4, 1776
What are some of the basic beliefs of the Declaration of Independence? That all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
What is the national anthem of the United States? The Star-Spangled Banner
Who wrote The Star-Spangled Banner? Francis Scott Key
What is the minimum voting age in the United States? 18
Who signs bills into law? The President
What is the highest court in the United States? The Supreme Court
Who was President during the Civil War? Abraham Lincoln
What did the Emancipation Proclamation do? It freed the slaves
What special group advises the President? The Cabinet
Which President is called the “Father of our Country? George Washington
Which President was the first Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army and Navy? George Washington
What was the 50th state added to our Union (the United States)? Hawaii
Who helped the Pilgrims in America? The American Indians/Native Americans
What is the name of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America? The Mayflower
What were the 13 original states of the United States called before they were states? Colonies
What group has the power to declare war? Congress
Name the amendments that guarantee or address voting rights? 14th, 15th, and 19th
In what year was the Constitution written? 1787
What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called? The Bill of Rights
Whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? All people living in the United States
What is the introduction to the Constitution called? The Preamble
Who meets in the U.S. Capitol building? Congress
What is the name of the President’s official home? The White House
Where is the White House located? Washington, DC
Name one right or freedom guaranteed by the first amendment. The rights of freedom: of speech, of religion, of assembly, and to petition the Government
Who is the Commander-in Chief of the United States military? The President
In what month do we vote for the President? November
In what month is the new President inaugurated? January
How many times may a senator or Congressman be re-elected? No limit
What are the two major political parties in the United States today? Democratic and Republican
What is the executive branch of our Government? The President, the Cabinet, and departments under the cabinet members
Where does freedom of speech come from? The Bill of Rights
What Immigration and Naturalization Service form is used to apply for naturalized citizenship? Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization)
What kind of government does the United States have? A Republic
Name one purpose of the United Nations. For countries to discuss and try to resolve world problems or to provide economic aid to many countries
Name one benefit of being a citizen of the United States? To obtain Federal Government jobs, to travel with a U.S. passport, or to petition for close relatives to come to the United States to live
Can the Constitution be changed? Yes
What is the most important right granted to United States citizen? The right to vote
What is the White House? The President’s official home
What is the United States Capitol? The place where Congress meets
How many branches are there in the United State Government? 3

 

 

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Howard Melamed

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