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Question: I have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for many years. Many of my friends have become U.S. Citizens (USC) as have many of my family members. However, I just do not know why I should become a U.S. Citizen. Can you advise me?

Answer: The Constitution gives many rights to citizens and non-citizens living in the United States. However, there are some rights the Constitution gives only to citizens, like the right to vote. When you are naturalized, you will be given the right to vote. Having a U.S. passport is another benefit of citizenship. A U.S. passport allows citizens the freedom to travel. In addition, citizens receive U.S. Government protection and assistance when abroad. Additionally, while no one should go and commit crimes, persons whom are only Lawful Permanent Residents can be put into deportation proceedings and deported. This is not true of U.S. Citizens. In fact, once you become a U.S. Citizen, it is incredibly difficult to take away your citizenship. Regarding the crimes, many times people will just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because of that they will just take a plea bargain. Of course, if they only have their Green Cards, they could be put into deportation for the same reasons as stated above. To be a U.S. Citizen, is simply a much safer way of living here.

Question: Are there increased responsibilities if I become a U.S. Citizen?

Answer: The Oath of Allegiance includes several promises you must make when you become a U.S. citizen, including promises to: give up prior allegiances to other Countries; support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States; swear allegiance to the United States; and serve the country when required. Citizens have many responsibilities other than the ones mentioned in the oath. Citizens have a responsibility to participate in the political process by registering and voting in elections. Serving on a jury is another responsibility of citizenship. Finally, America becomes stronger when all its citizens respect the different opinions, cultures, ethnic groups, and religions found in this country. Tolerance for differences is also a responsibility of citizenship. When you decide to become a U.S. citizen, you should be willing to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship.

You will have to honor and respect the freedoms and opportunities citizenship gives you. Once you become an American Citizen, and participate in all that this country has to offer, you will truly become an American.

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Why should I become a U.S. Citizen?