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Papers Please

A close look at the path to citizenship

As the immigration reform debate continues, we often hear about a possible “path to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants. PRI's The World picks apart what the current citizenship path actually involves, the obstacles some immigrants hit along the way, and why some people choose to put themselves on this path, while others opt out.

The US citizenship has an amazingly high pass rate — but it also has a number of critics. They argue the questions, frankly, are bad. And the test doesn't encourage immigrants to become better citizens, but rather to memorize facts they can write on the test.

Culture

Citizenship? No thanks, I'll pass for now

Along with gaining the right to vote and the responsibility of serving on a jury, some studies show new citizens make clear economic gains as well. But not everyone buys it. Naturalization rates in the US are extremely low. Of the more than 8 million people with a US green card, less than 40 percent will go on to naturalize. That's nearly a third of the naturalization rate in our neighbor to the north, Canada.

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