The Benefits and Rights of becoming a United States Citizen
Once you have determined that you are eligible for United States Citizenship, what are some of the benefits and responsibilities of Citizenship? The Constitution of the United States affords both citizens and non-citizens certain rights: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom to petition the government, freedom of assembly and the right to bear arms.
There are, however, some rights and benefits that come only with United States Citizenship. Only U.S. citizens for example can vote in federal elections and most states also restrict the right to vote to only U.S. citizens. If you wanted to become an elected official in this country or wished to apply for a federal job, most elected offices and government agencies require United States citizenship. In addition, if you wished to petition the government for sponsorship of a family member living in another country to come permanently to the United States, citizens generally get priority over non-citizens. Adding to the list of benefits is a citizen’s ability to travel freely abroad with a U.S. passport and to get assistance from the United States government when overseas.
Becoming a U.S. citizen, though, is also a way to become involved and demonstrate your commitment to the United States.
These aren’t all the benefits of citizenship just some of the more important ones, can you think of some others? There are some responsibilities though that come along with becoming a United States Citizen. To become United States citizens you must take an Oath of Allegiance. The Oath includes several promises that you make when you become a citizen. The promises that you make upon citizenship are: give up loyalty or allegiance to other countries, to defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States, to obey the laws of the United States, to serve the country in the armed forces if needed, to serve the country when and if required and to be loyal to the United States.
In addition to the promises that you make in the Oath as a new citizen, you have many other responsibilities. One of the more important responsibilities is registering and voting in elections to make your voice heard and participate in the democratic process. There are many ways of participating in our democracy besides voting; you can work on a political campaign, you can participate in civic and community groups or you can call on or write to Senators and Representatives to voice your opinion.
Citizenship affords you so many freedoms and opportunities-avail yourself of them and participate!