September 17: What Does Citizenship Day 2022 Mean for Immigrants?

Mario A. Godoy
September 17: What Does Citizenship Day 2022 Mean for Immigrants?

On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution. On September 17, Americans celebrate Constitution Day 2022 in addition to Citizenship Day. September 17-23 is Constitution Week, a time for Americans to reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and what it means to be a U.S. citizen. Citizenship Day is an opportunity for immigrants and legal permanent residents to prepare and apply for U.S. naturalization.

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day are 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.

WATCH: Immigration Attorney Mario Godoy Explains U.S. Citizenship Requirements

Benefits of Being a U.S. Citizen

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. In general, a person can apply for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen if he or she holds a green card, spends a specified amount of time in the U.S., can prove they good moral character and can demonstrate a working knowledge of English and U.S. civics.

Here 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. A U.S. passport and the ability to contact the U.S. Embassy provide some protection during international travel.
  6. Certain educational scholarships are only available to U.S. citizens.
  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.

Cook and DuPage County Citizenship Attorney

An experienced citizenship 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. 

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