Every year a record number of immigrants apply to become United States citizens. As part of the application process the Immigration and Naturalization Service administers a test to all those who apply for citizenship. This test focuses on U. S. history and Government. Many people believe that this process is “unfair,” that many of the questions are unnecessary, and that it does not reflect a good understanding of the U.S. government.
For example the test asks to “Name 3 rights of freedom guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.” Many applicants believe this in unfair because even many born Americans do not know the answer. I agree that some of the included questions might be “unnecessary,” but as an immigrant myself I think that it is very important that new citizens learn the basis of the U.S. government and its laws in order to become “good citizens.” My point is, prospective college students are required by universities to take some kind of test and/or write an essay in order to obtain admission. So why not create a test and require new citizenship applicants to write an essay that will allow them to express their reasons for wanting to be part of this country?
As part of a Developmental Democracy, Hudson writes, “‘Good citizens’ are knowledgeable about, interested in, and active in government and civic affairs. They vote regularly, inform themselves on public issues, write to their elected representatives, and sometimes serve in public office. Democracy is desirable because it provides these opportunities”(2000:11). In my opinion writing an essay will be a perfect opportunity for new citizens to start getting involved in issues that matter to them and are related to their beliefs about democracy.
The United States is now a country with a noticeable multicultural society. I think that new Americans should learn the importance of our social, political, and economic structure and how this can affect their future. Every new citizen gains voting rights;...