Thank God we are in the place where the world wants to live. Next time you are in a hospital, nursing home, or driving by a construction site, look at the variety of faces and listen to the voices doing these tough jobs. Higher on the spectrum, immigration feeds into the technology and programming that powers Silicon Valley and military hardware. Immigration has been spectacularly good for America.
Just getting to America does not make it easy street. Most immigrants start from scratch and build a living. For those who wish to become Americans, they ultimately need to pass the Naturalization Test. I used this test as a teacher to prepare my students for their social studies exam.
It might surprise one to learn just how many of our natural born students struggle to answer questions from the test that immigrants must pass. Maybe we can agree that regardless of our thoughts on immigration, natural-born citizens should be able to pass the same test that aspiring citizens have to. Here are just a few of the questions:
What is the supreme law of the land?
What is one right from the first amendment?
How many U.S. senators are there?
If the President and Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
What is one power of the federal government?
There were thirteen original states. Name three.
What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
How many Supreme Court justices are there?
Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s?
Who did the United States fight in WWII?
Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.
Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.
Name one state that borders Canada.
Name one state that borders Mexico.
How did you do? The test is only one step that immigrants must go through to become Americans. I suspect we’ve elected quite a few people to office that could not pass the naturalization test, though they will proclaim immigration a problem in the name of liberty and freedom.
Immigration is not a problem. Wealth inequality, climate change, and access to affordable healthcare are real threats to our stability. If we continue getting distracted by false flags like immigration, it won’t matter what we believe or who we elect. We’ll be subject to the economic decisions of other countries who are playing the long game. While we squander our time and intelligence on building walls against make-believe enemies, other countries make gains by spreading their wealth and influence around the world. The generations of Americans after us could end up speaking Chinese.
For more on the Naturalization Test, visit: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Office%20of%20Citizenship/Citizenship%20Resource%20Center%20Site/Publications/100q.pdf
Daniel Parker is an author, educator, and public servant. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org