WASHINGTON – The Trump administration announced Friday that it will revise the current test to become a citizen of the United States.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said in a statement that it is revising the current citizenship test “to ensure it continues to serve as an accurate measure of a naturalization applicant’s civics knowledge and that it reflects best practices in adult education assessments.”
The agency did not include details about the exact changes, but said that a working group is reviewing and updating questions. In addition, that group will also “assess potential changes to the speaking portion of the test.”
The new test will be implemented in either December 2020 or early 2021, after analysis of a pilot beginning this fall. The test was last revised in 2008.
Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli also said in the statement that the agency has the responsibility of “updating, maintaining, and improving” the test in an effort “to help potential new citizens fully understand the meaning of U.S. citizenship and the values that unite all Americans.”
“Granting U. S. citizenship is the highest honor our nation bestows,” Cuccinelli also said.
Throughout his tenure in office, President Donald Trump has implemented several changes in an effort to implement his immigration and citizenship policies.
Just on Monday, the president proposed a change for those seeking asylum in the U.S., requiring them to make claims in other countries first. The move would likely prevent most migrants arriving at the southern U.S. border from claiming political asylum in the United States.
Trump has previously cut the number of refugees allowed to be admitted in the U.S., implemented a travel ban that blocks people from several Muslim-majority countries, and proposed a new immigration system that would be “merit-based” and prioritize high-skilled immigrants.
The USCIS announcement also comes amid a weeklong feud between the president and four Democratic congresswomen of color, one of which is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Trump has repeatedly bashed Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
Omar immigrated to the U.S. from Somalia over 20 years ago. Many of Trump’s attacks have targeted Omar. At a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, chants of “send her back” broke out when the president mentioned the Minnesota Democrat.
Currently, the citizenship test includes 10 randomly generated questions out of 100 total. The questions fall into three categories: American government, American history and integrated civics.
All 100 questions are available online on the USCIS website, including in several languages, such as Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.
USCIS noted in its statement that English and civics requirements for naturalization in U.S. law include that candidates have ” ‘…an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language…’ and …knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government, of the United States…’ “
The agency said that the test will comply “with all statutory and regulatory requirements.”
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