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New test for American citizenship test tougher, with political tilt, say immigration experts

3 min read
Immigration Support

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has revised its civics test (US Citizenship test), a compulsory requirement for the individuals who need to become American citizens.

As per the USCIS, candidates who apply for citizenship on or after 1st December 2020, will take the updated oral version of the test. The immigration organization expresses that the revised test includes more inquiries. That test the candidate’s understanding of US history and civics, in accordance with the legal necessities. Also, covers a variety of topics that give the candidate more opportunities to find out about the US as a part of the test preparation process. A few immigration experts are of the view that the test is harder and has political hues.

Indian-born people are typically the second biggest group to be granted US citizenship. During the twelve-month period finished September 30, 2019, 61,843 Indians were granted US citizenship. Which constituted 7.5% of the total number of new residents during the period. In the earlier year, 52,194 Indians (which was 6.85% of the total new residents) had procured American citizenship.

The revised test won’t change the passing score, which will stay at 60%. Applicants must answer 12 questions accurately, out of 20 in order to pass. In this unique situation, Doug Rand, co-founder, Boundless Immigration, a technology company in the immigration space, has tweeted, “Cursorily, the 60% threshold for right answers is the equivalent. In any case, considering the new 128 (more complicated) questions will be harder than studying the old 100 (more direct) questions. What’s more, scoring 12 out of 20 will be harder than scoring 6 out of 10.”

US Citizenship Test

He is of the view that the new civics test is unnecessary, ridiculous, overly complex, and shamelessly ideological. “This is an obvious attempt to throw one more obstacle in front of immigrants legally eligible for US citizenship. The Biden government can and should immediately restore the current test,” adds Rand.

Candidates who fail the civics test are afforded another opportunity to take it again during a second appointment.

Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy counsel at American Immigration Council, a not-for-profit organization. Agrees that the overall tilt of the new questions is subtly more political than previously.

In a progression of tweets, he gives different illustrations. “Not all the changes are favorable. The response to ‘Who does a US senator/congressperson represent?’ has been changed from ‘all individuals of the state’ to ‘residents of their state.’ That’s a bad change. It’s totally false and Trumpian. The background identifying with this question is that President Trump had sought to exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 census count.

[Immigration Law Under Biden – What Changes We Can Expect?]

The current rules continue for candidates who are 65 years old or older and have at least 20 years of lawful permanent resident status. These candidates will be asked 10 questions and must answer at least six questions accurately to pass, clarifies USCIS.

“USCIS has determinedly worked on updating the naturalization (ie: citizenship) test since 2018. Depending on input from experts in the field of adult education to guarantee that this process is reasonable and straightforward,”. Said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow. “Naturalization permits immigrants to become fully vested members of American society. With the same rights and responsibilities as residents by birth, and offering a reasonable test. Which gets ready naturalization candidates for these responsibilities, is of utmost importance to our agency.”

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