Wilfredo Lee / AP
The Trump administration is planning changes in US citizenship. US Citizenship and Immigration Services say it revises the test that "it continues to act as a proper measurement of a naturalization applicant's awareness of society".
The test was introduced in 1986 and last revised in 2008. In a USCIS statement, acting director Ken Cuccinelli said, "Updating, maintaining and improving a test that is up-to-date and relevant is our responsibility as an agency to help potential new citizens fully understands the importance of American citizenship and the values that unite all Americans. "
We are improving current naturalization tests to ensure that it continues to accurately measure a naturalization applicant's awareness and reflect best practices in adult education
– USCIS (@USCIS) July 19, 2019
Since President Trump has tried to make broad changes in US immigration laws and policies. Last week, the Trump administration announced a new rule requiring asylum seekers to first apply for asylum in at least one country they pass through their trip to the United States
. The administration has also argued that a citizenship issue should be added to the 2020 census. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang and Franco Ordonez reported on Trump's latest decision to release these efforts. Instead, they wrote, Trump announced he would "sign an executive order to obtain information on US citizenship and non-citizenship status for anyone living in the United States."
Cuccinelli spoke with the Washington Post about changes in US citizenship, which USCIS plans to launch in December 2020 or early 2021. "Not everyone is always paranoid that this is used for past purposes?" Cuccinelli said. "Of course, they will be very disappointed when it just looks like another version of a social science degree. I mean that's pretty much how it should look."
In a statement, the USCIS said it had formed a naturalization trial auditing group in December 2018 with "members of the entire agency." USCIS said it is "to ask adult education experts to ensure that the process is fair and transparent."
The exam currently puts the applicant 10 randomly generated questions from a list of 100. The questions focus on three topics: US government, American history, and integrated community building, including American geography, symbols, and holidays. Applicants for US citizenship must receive at least six of the 10 questions that are correct to pass the exam.
Last year, the USCIS naturalized more than 750,000 people, as the agency says is a five-year high. USCIS reports a nationally approved 90% course for citizenship and says that a pilot of the audits will roll out this fall.
Next, USCIS director Francis Cissna announced for the first time upcoming revisions to the May test. Cissna wrote: "Citizenship is the culmination of an immigrant's journey to fully join our nation and live with us in a common bond … By revising this test every ten years, we can ensure that the requirements for citizen education are a meaningful aspect of the naturalization process. "