Citizenship is defined as the legal rights to belong to a particular country (Walenta par 2). The writer asserts that a citizen is a person who is recognized as a member of a country and owes allegiance to the government and is supposed to be protected by the government (Walenta par 2). In the USA, citizenship is categorized in two ways, which are natural born and naturalized. Natural born citizenship refers to the acquisition of citizenship at the time of birth, and one can acquire it in two ways. First, it is through native born, whereby someone is born in the land of the state or commonwealth with the principles outlined jus soli. The second way is through the status of parents’ citizenship as outlined in the rule of jus sanguinis (Lewis 50). Naturalized citizenship is obtained through the process of naturalization, which conferred upon a foreign citizen by the Congress. For one to acquire citizenship through this process, he or she should meet the following criteria. The individual should have lived in the US continuously, a resided in a certain USCIS district before applying, ability to read, write, and speak English, good moral character, as well as the favorable disposition of the US (Lewis 67). Besides, the applicant should be conversant with the US history and government and demonstrate attachment to the principles of the constitution. It is crucial to state that each state has laws concerning dual citizens.
How the different levels of citizenship affect American right
It is vital to state that native-born citizens have more rights that naturalized citizens. Evidently, basic rights are universal to the two types of citizenship as Kandel (246) states. Both have the rights to own property, business, enroll in public schools, to enjoy the first amendment freedoms, as well as due process rights. However, the naturalized citizens are not allowed to participate in voting and can hold any public office. It is imperative to note that the prohibitions are intended to protect the US from foreign influence Lawson (65) contends.
- Kandel, William A. “US Naturalization Policy.” Current Politics and Economics of the United States, Canada, and Mexico 16.2 (2014): 241-265. Print.
- Lawson, Steven. Running for Freedom: Civil rights and black politics in America since 1941. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Print.
- Lewis, Adrian. The American Culture of War: A History of US Military Force from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom. London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2014.
- Walenta, Craig, Constitutional Topic: Citizenship. 2010. PDF file. 13 Nov. 2015. http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_citi.html