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Does the New Citizenship Test Lean Right?

December 04, 2020 (1 min read)

Simon Romero, Miriam Jordan, New York Times, Dec. 3, 2020

"The Trump administration is rolling out sweeping changes to the test immigrants must take to become United States citizens, injecting hints of conservative philosophy and making the test harder for many learners of the English language. ... Singled out for a new question is the 10th Amendment, which reserves to the states all powers not specifically granted to the federal government, a part of the Bill of Rights that is a favorite among conservatives questioning federal authority. Another new question, “Why did the United States enter the Vietnam War?” has one answer that is considered correct: “to stop the spread of Communism.” The test does not take on the issue of the vehement protests or the huge death toll stemming from the war. ... “It’s a last-ditch effort on their way out the door for the administration to keep people from realizing their dreams of becoming citizens,” said Eric Cohen, executive director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco, a nonprofit group that helps permanent residents apply for citizenship. “There is no legal reason, no regulatory reason to do this,” said Mr. Cohen, noting that the citizenship test had remained unchanged since 2008. “They decided on their own that they have to change it for political reasons.”"