Opinion | 128 Difficult Questions That May Stand Between You and U.S. Citizenship

Her flip lastly got here throughout a pandemic, so the united statesC.I.S. officer introduced her right into a room with an iPad, after which he went to the room proper subsequent to hers and performed the interview just about. She bought one hundred pc of the questions proper and on Oct. 23 she was introduced along with her citizenship papers and a small American flag throughout a drive-through ceremony in a parking zone beside the Albany airport. The following day, she informed me, she voted within the presidential election.

At some point I hope to do the identical, so I’m taking follow questions after I can. This one caught me out. “What’s Alexander Hamilton well-known for?” He’s well-known for his cool ponytail and for being a breakout star on Broadway, proper? Unsuitable. Apparently he’s well-known for being “one of many writers of the Federalist papers.” Unsure what these are, however they sound critical.

One other one is “Identify one instance of an American innovation.” Voodoo-flavored Zapp’s chips spring to thoughts, as does unearned confidence. Nonetheless, neither is included within the listing of acceptable solutions. As an alternative: gentle bulbs, skyscrapers and touchdown on the moon.

Hernan Prieto is the citizenship program coordinator at Irish Group Companies, a nonprofit in Chicago that gives immigration and social providers to immigrants of any nationality within the Midwest. A part of his job is making ready immigrants for the civics take a look at. Not like Senator-elect Tuberville, his college students normally get the query in regards to the branches of presidency proper. They’re additionally acquainted with among the names on the take a look at, he informed me. They know who Martin Luther King Jr. is and why he’s essential. Dates journey them up, although.

A inexperienced card holder from Argentina, Mr. Prieto hopes to use for naturalization subsequent 12 months, and he informed me he appreciates what he learns alongside different immigrants. Most crucially, finding out civics informs would-be Individuals of what they stand to achieve and what they should give in the event that they hope to reside as much as this nation’s earliest motto. They study that motto too; it’s “E Pluribus Unum” or “Out of many, one.” They study that equality is promised by the Structure, that no person is above the regulation and that it’s a civic responsibility to vote.

Mr. Prieto treasures that information, however isn’t satisfied that the take a look at itself is useful. “I don’t know that we have to have a proper take a look at, with 128 questions that you want to study, and get 12 of them proper,” he mentioned. “Do we actually want that? What’s essential for a brand new citizen is to know their rights and their tasks. That’s what ranges them with different residents.”

Maeve Higgins (@maevehiggins) is the writer of “Maeve in America: Essays by a Woman From Someplace Else” and a contributing Opinion author.

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