Late yesterday I wrote a short post (here) about how Donald Trump is proposing that potential immigrants take and pass a civics test in order to enter the U.S.
If you’re not from the U.S., you might be wondering, “What’s the big deal, Fandango? People from other countries who want to be citizens in my country need to take a test before they can become a citizen here.”
And you’d be right to ask that. Many countries around the world require that people who wish to become citizens of those countries must take and pass a citizenship test. So does the United States. “So why, Fandango, does what Donald Trump wants to do have your panties all in a bunch?”
The simple answer is that what Trump is proposing has nothing to do with becoming a citizen of the U.S. It’s about being able to even legally enter the U.S.
Let’s take a step back. Before someone can even apply for citizenship in the U.S., they must first get what is called a “green card,” which is a document that someone must get in order to be granted the right to live in the United States. Depending upon the situation, that can take up to six months.
Once an immigrant has been granted a green card, he or she will have to be a “permanent resident” of the U.S. for five continuous years before they can even apply for naturalization. That application process can take between six months to a year or more.
After that application has been approved, at least six years after coming into the country, only then will the immigrant be required to take the citizenship test. And assuming they pass, they’ll have to wait another six months to two years after that be sworn in as a naturalized American citizen.
But what Donald Trump wants to do is have potential immigrants take a US civics test before all that. Before they even start the process of applying to be a resident.
And that, my friends, is what has my panties all in a bunch.
Hmm. I wonder if this “civics test” will be available in languages other than English.