September 17 is recognized by the United States government as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day:
On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution. For the past 225 years, the Constitution has served as the supreme law of the land. The Constitution, along with the Bill of Rights and other amendments, define our government and guarantee our rights. Each year, on September 17, Americans celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. In addition, September 17-23 is also recognized as Constitution Week. During this time, USCIS encourages Americans to reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and what it means to be a U.S. citizen.
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is dedicated to all US citizens:
• I Am an American Day was first celebrated on May 31, 1938 for refugees who had immigrated to the United States during World War I.
• On February 29, 1952, President Harry Truman signed into law Citizenship Day.
• On August 2, 1956, Congress requested that the president proclaim the week beginning September 17 and ending September 23 of each year as Constitution Week.
• A federal law enacted in December 2004 designated September 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.
While not a federal holiday, businesses and community organizations across American commemorate Citizenship Day 2021 and recognize the importance of becoming a United States citizen:
• USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration) has many resources that are related to this important day:
• Practice Tests for the Naturalization Interview (2008 version of the civics test)
Three online practice tests allow you to review the vocabulary that you might hear during the naturalization interview or read on Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
• USCIS Naturalization Interview and Test Video
This 16-minute video explains the naturalization process and test. It also follows two applicants as they interact with USCIS officers during a naturalization interview.
• 100 Civics Questions and Answers with MP3 Audio (2008 version of the civics test)
This is the official list of civics questions and answers on the naturalization test in MP3 audio format.
• Civics Practice Test (2008 version of the civics test)
Practice your knowledge of U.S. history and government.
• Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship (2008 version of the civics test)
This web resource provides online videos and activities on the 100 civics questions from the naturalization test and highlights museum objects from the Smithsonian Institution. Visit the “Writing the Constitution”, “Voting”, “Rights”, and “Responsibilities” themes for information on the Constitution and citizenship.
• Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test (PDF, 2.28 MB) (2008 version of the civics test)
This study booklet will help you prepare for the civics and English portions of the naturalization interview. It contains the 100 civics questions on the naturalization test with background information and vocabulary from the English portions of the naturalization test.
• A Promise of Freedom: An Introduction to U.S. History and Civics for Immigrants
This 12-minute film focuses on the history and founding of our nation and the important rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship.
• Citizenship workshops across the country recognize and celebrate those individuals who aspire to become citizens of the U.S.
• Volunteer attorneys, law students, and community members help immigrants apply for U.S. citizenship.
There are many practical benefits of being a U.S. citizen. United States citizens are entitled to rights and privileges that Legal Permanent Residents – Green Card holders – do not have. Below are 10 reasons to become a United States citizen:
1. If a green card holder commits a crime, their legal permanent resident status can then be revoked and they can be deported. A naturalized citizen is entitled to the same rights as a natural-born citizen, and cannot be deported.
2. U.S. citizens can vote in local and federal elections.
3. Citizens get priority to sponsor family members to permanently move to the United States.
4. A child born abroad to a U.S. citizen may automatically obtain U.S. citizenship.
5. Citizens are eligible for Federal jobs that LPRs cannot get.
6. A U.S. passport and the ability to contact the U.S. Embassy provide some protection during international travel.
7. Certain educational scholarships are only available to U.S. citizens.
8. Citizenship almost eliminates the risk of deportation. Unless someone committed fraud during his or her immigration proceedings, citizenship is permanent. Once a person becomes a citizen, he or she is typically immune from deportation.
9. Citizens are permitted to leave the country for long periods of time, unlike Green Card holders.
10. It costs less to become a U.S. citizen than to remain a Green Card holder. Permanent residents must renew their green card every 10 years and pay applicable fees.
An experienced Green Card lawyer knows and understands current immigration laws and can assist you with your naturalization application by helping you spot potential roadblocks in your background that can derail your application. Experienced immigration attorneys can save you money, time and stress and make sure your citizenship application has all the required documents and that the process is done correctly the first time, and accompany you to your immigration interview. If USCIS denies your application or there is a misunderstanding, your lawyer can help clarify and resolve the miscommunication.
The skilled immigration lawyers at Godoy Law Office can answer any questions about immigration and guide you through every step of the citizenship process. Call us today at 630-912-0322.