Promise of America PBL

by Lucine Devejian and Mary Grace Schayot

Bill of Rights

There are 14 rights given to citizens in the Bill of Rights:

  1. freedom of religion
  2. freedom of assembly
  3. freedom of press
  4. freedom of petition
  5. freedom of speech
  6. right to bear arms
  7. no quartering of troops
  8. no unreasonable search and seizure
  9. due process of law
  10. right to a speedy and public trial
  11. right to trial by jury
  12. no cruel and unusual punishment
  13. constitutional rights do not deny other rights
  14. any power not given to the federal government is given to the states

The Bill of Rights protects the unalienable rights that are given to every citizen.

With these rights defended, citizens can be assured that they can share their beliefs freely every day.

Responsible Citizenship

Responsible citizenship means being a member of a country and having full rights and responsibilities under the law.

Examples of being a responsible citizen include:

  • supporting and defending the Constitution
  • obeying the law
  • serving on a jury
  • paying taxes
  • voting
  • serving your community
  • staying informed on what is happening in your community
  • respecting others
  • having good moral character

Being a responsible citizen is important because we as citizens need to give back to the government since they gave us rights. It's a trade; the government gives us rights and we give back by being responsible citizens.

Naturalization Process

A naturalized citizen is someone who was not originally born in the US but then became a US citizen by choice. To become a United States citizen, you have to:

  • Be a person of good moral character.

  • Be able to speak, read, write and understand basic English (age exemptions may apply for those who qualify).

  • Have basic knowledge of United States history, government, and civics

  • Be willing to take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States.

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Have been a Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder) for at least 5 years, OR be a Lawful Permanent Resident for at least 3 years if married to and living with your U.S. Citizen spouse.

  • Have been physically present in the United States for at least 1/2 of the time (30 months) during the last 5 years.

  • Not have left the U.S. for long periods of time during the past 5 years

  • Have residence in the district where you are applying for at least 3 months.

The steps to becoming a naturalized citizen include:

  • Finding out if you are eligible

  • Overcome barriers to your ineligibility

  • File USCIS form N-400

  • Get fingerprinted

  • Attend a citizenship interview

  • Attend the oath ceremony

We think the reason that the process and the criteria are required for people to become US citizens is because we need a way for us to make sure that people in our country are good and trustworthy people. If we didn't have that, there would be disloyal people living in the United States.