Presentation on theme: "Ch. 1 Section 2 The Path to Citizenship. Who are America’s Citizens? The U.S. Constitution establishes two ways to become a citizen: - by birth - by naturalization,"— Presentation transcript:
Who are America’s Citizens? The U.S. Constitution establishes two ways to become a citizen: - by birth - by naturalization, citizenship through a legal process
Who are America’s Citizens? (cont.) A person is automatically an American citizen if they are: - born in a state - born in D.C. - born in an American territory - born on a U.S. military base People can also claim citizenship if their parents or one parent is a U.S. citizen who has lived in the U.S.
Who are America’s Citizens? (cont.) Children who are born on U.S. soil to non-U.S. citizens also acquire U.S. citizenship Only exception, children of foreign diplomats A child born abroad to American parents may hold dual citizenship.
Who are America’s Citizens? (cont.) Non-citizens or aliens, may become naturalized citizens. More than half a million immigrants, people who move permanently to a new country, gain citizenship each year. There are some steps one must take to reach U.S. citizenship
Naturalization Process 1.Aliens must file a Declaration of Intention with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 2.May apply for citizenship after living in the U.S. for 5 years (3 years for those married to citizens) During this time, applicant takes special classes to prepare for the citizenship exam
Naturalization Process (cont.) 3.After the paperwork is checked, the interview with a USCIS official takes place. Applicant must meet requirements and show good moral character 4. Applicant takes citizenship exam consisting of basic American History/American Government questions and basic reading, writing, and speaking English.
Naturalization Process (cont.) 5.If test is passed and citizenship is granted, applicant will attend a ceremony and pledge an oath of allegiance to the U.S. Alien swears to be loyal to this country and no other, obey the Constitution, and perform duties of a citizen. 6. Document is signed and person is declared a citizen of the United States of America. All children under the age of 18 automatically become citizens too.
Lifelong Privilege Citizenship is for life, unless you choose to give it up. Only the Federal government can grant citizenship or take it away. Expatriation means to give up one’s citizenship by leaving one’s native country to live in a foreign country. Giving up citizenship must be done in a foreign country, with a formal oath signed before an appropriate American official. There is no going back from here. There is no changing your mind. You are still responsible for any old debts and crimes committed in the U.S.
Aliens in America The U.S. restricts the number of immigrants who can enter the country. Millions apply, but roughly 700,000 are accepted each year. Highest priority goes to relatives of U.S. citizens and people with needed skills Immigration Act of 1990 shifted emphasis toward welcoming “those who want to work, produce, and contribute.” Policy benefits those with: Particular skills, talents, or money to invest in our economy.
Aliens in America (cont.) Roughly 12 million aliens live in the U.S. illegally. Many come here looking for a better life but never file the paperwork because of the long process or fear of rejection. Enter the U.S. illegally in a variety of ways: - temporary visitors which never leave - foreigners who stay after their legal permits expire. expire. - cross the border illegally from Mexico/Canada
Aliens in America (cont.) Life is hard constantly living in fear of government deportation, sending them back to their own country. U.S. border patrol unit is the law enforcement unit of the USCIS. Detect and prevent the illegal entry of aliens into the U.S. Patrol 2000 miles of coastal waters surrounding Florida and Puerto Rico. Also patrol 6000 miles of Mexican/Canadian international land borders.
Aliens in America (cont.) There are legal aliens who live in the U.S and are just like everyone else. - hold jobs - pay taxes - go to school There are a few political rights though that they do not have until full citizenship is granted: - can not vote - can not run for political office - can not work in most government jobs - must carry identification cards