Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A New U.S. Citizenship Test

According to news from MSNBC, federal officials will unveil new test questions designed, they say, to make the U.S. citizenship exam more meaningful.

"Our idea is to make this a test which is more relevant, which instills a greater sense of civic pride," says Emilio Gonzalez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Some of the new questions:

  • Why do we have three branches of government? (It's not enough just to name them.)
  • Name two ways Americans can participate in our democracy.
  • Name three of the Cabinet posts and what they do.
  • Name one idea in the Declaration of Independence.
The new exam questions will be tried out in 10 cities beginning next year. A better test that some say will also help make better citizens.

What is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services?

On March 1, 2003, service and benefit functions of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) transitioned into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The President nominated Eduardo Aguirre to lead the USCIS; he was confirmed by the Senate on June 19, 2003. The USCIS is responsible for the administration of immigration and naturalization adjudication functions and establishing immigration services policies and priorities. See the USCIC organizational chart.

What is The Office of Citizenship?

The Office of Citizenship, within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is responsible for promoting instruction and training on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and providing immigrants with information and tools necessary to successfully integrate into American civic culture.

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