To become a citizen, immigrants have to take English and civics tests. (The actual civics test is not a multiple choice.) Based on these 10 questions from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, do you think you could qualify for citizenship in the U.S.?
Here’s a glossary of terms we’ve found important when discussing the topic of immigration.
Alien – a person who is not a U.S. citizen. Journalists do not use this term unless quoting someone or writing about the movie series.
Border Patrol – Part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. Border Patrol agents provide law enforcement at the U.S. borders.
Citizenship exam – Also called the naturalization test, all immigrants must pass this test before becoming a U.S. citizen.
Customs – Short for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, both agencies of the Department of Homeland Security. Customs agents staff ports of entry at the U.S. border and airports.
DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was created in 2012, allowing young people who come to the U.S. illegally as minors (under 16) to be protected from immediate deportation, provided documentation for two years for work or school. Repealed by President Trump in September 2017.
Deport / deportation – to formally remove someone from the U.S. Deportation is ordered by an immigration judge. According to USCIS, “Now called Removal, this function is managed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
Emigrant – a person who leaves their country to live in another.
Green card – aka “Permanent Residency Card” allows an immigrant who is not a citizen to live and work permanently in the U.S. These must be renewed.
Illegal immigration – Entering or living in a country without legal permission (“illegal alien”)
Immigrant – a person who comes to a foreign country with a plan to live there permanently.
Naturalization – the process to become a U.S. citizen, including paperwork, FBI background check, interview and an English test and civics test.
Refugee – someone who has been forced to flee his/her country by violence or persecution.
Nonimmigrant – a person who is in the U.S. for a short time or for a certain purpose.
Undocumented – the status of not having documentation that shows legal permission to live (and work or go to school) in a country.
Visa – a document that allows entrance to another for either temporary or permanent access.
Join VOX for our FREE teen-led dialogue on Dec. 9, 2-4 p.m., at the Loudermilk Center in downtown Atlanta (accessible from MARTA’s 5 Points station). Click here for details and RSVP.