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What are the Rights of a Naturalized Citizen?

What are the Rights of a Naturalized Citizen?

For some immigrants to the United States, it may not be immediately clear why they should apply for citizenship. After all, illegal immigrants may be able to live in the country, evading prosecution or deportation for the entire duration of their stay. Furthermore, even for legal immigrants, there are fees and much preparation that comes along with becoming a naturalized citizen.

Realistically, though, the administrative costs and extra time that must be spent rehearsing one's citizenship test/interview are worth the potential rewards of the decision to apply for citizenship. As the rights of a naturalized citizen may not mean much in name only, it is worthwhile to consider them in depth:

Voting in federal elections – For more jaded residents of the United States, wanting to apply for citizenship simply to be able to vote for President may seem like a wasted effort, especially if they believe that one vote does not make a difference. Recently, though, voter turnout among naturalized citizens has reached all-time highs. While this group may not be enough to carry a candidate nationally, at least in close races for individual states, blocs of naturalized voters may be enough to propel their candidate of choice to a majority victory. 

Bringing family members to the country – Clearly, for many immigrant laborers in the United States who are supporting family members abroad, this will be a great motivating factor for them to apply for citizenship. Rather than remain isolated from people they love waiting in foreign countries, the whole family unit can live and grow in America at the request of naturalized citizens. Furthermore, with a citizen parent as a sponsor, children will be able to become full citizens without the waits associated with adult applications for citizenship. 

Use a passport to travel – For travel to some countries, even in the short term, a visa will be needed by United States citizens to enter the country.

Earn federal monies – Going back to the second point, it is important, if not essential for some foreign-born workers to provide for their kids in order to secure a public education in the United States. Thus, they would need to get them to the country. A free public education, though, only extends from kindergarten to high school. The ability to attend college in America is a privilege, not a right.

However, for naturalized citizens, it will be easier for them to send their children to a university if they do not have pay as much of the bill up front. Giving the rising costs of college and its increasing value in obtaining employment, it is critical to become a citizen to have access to grants and scholarships that will make higher education more affordable.

H&A ASSOCIATES, P.C     John D. Hu, Esq.

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