Monday, December 29, 2014

USCIS: Join Our New Year's Video Project!



USCIS: Join Our New Year's Video Project!

Calling all naturalized citizens! Help us wish the world a happy new year. It’s simple: record a short video clip of yourself saying "Happy new year from an American from X, " replacing X with your native country. For example, if your native country is Canada, say "Happy new year from an American from Canada."

Post that video to YouTube by December 29 and leave a comment below with the URL for your video.

We’ll post a video on December 31 with as many responses as possible.

Have fun, smile in your video, and share your good cheer!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Executive Actions on Immigration


USCIS: Executive Actions on Immigration

On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. (read more)

Friday, December 26, 2014

West Wing Week: 12/26/14 or, "The Jazzy, Snazzy Holiday Special"



wh.gov: West Wing Week: 12/26/14 or, "The Jazzy, Snazzy Holiday Special"

Welcome to this special, Holiday Season edition of West Wing Week. While we certainly hope you all are taking some time off to reflect on the meaning of the holidays, and spend time with your loved ones, we also want to offer up some of our favorite White House holiday moments from this festive time of year.

Also watch these videos from wh.gov:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Have a very, merry VOA Christmas!



VOA Learning English: VOA Staff Presents 'A Visit From St. Nicholas'

​The American idea of Santa Claus largely comes from a poem called "A Visit from St. Nicholas". Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem in 1822, but he did not put his name on it. Some call it the most famous poem ever written by an American. The poem is often called "'Twas the Night Before Christmas. (read) Great scenes of Washington DC and the VOA staff! We love you, VOA!

VOA Learning English: The History of Christmas in America

In the first half of the 19th century, Christmas was a very different kind of holiday than it is today. People did not have a set way of celebrating. Christmas was not even an official holiday yet.
(read) (listen)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Toys for Tots

USCIS 100:55. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?



VOAVideo: TOTs

The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children

The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

For more info, go to www.toysfortots.org

Also watch, VOAVideo: US Federal Employees Donate to Their Favorite Charities Through CFC

USCIS 100:55. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?

▪ vote
▪ join a political party
▪ help with a campaign
▪ join a civic group
▪ join a community group
▪ give an elected official your opinion on an issue
▪ call Senators and Representatives
▪ publicly support or oppose an issue or policy
▪ run for office
▪ write to a newspaper

Sunday, December 21, 2014

West Wing Week: 12/19/14 or, "Todos Somos Americanos"



uscitizenpod: West Wing Week: 12/19/14 or, "Todos Somos Americanos"

Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President traveled to Fort Dix to thank our troops, took action to protect Alaska's Bristol Bay, and announced historic changes to America's relationship with Cuba. That's December 12th to December 18th or, "Todos Somos Americanos."

Saturday, December 13, 2014

West Wing Week: 12/12/14 or, "Zeros & Ones"



wh.gov: West Wing Week: 12/12/14 or, "Zeros and Ones"

This week, the President nominated a Secretary of Defense, coded with a group of budding computer scientists, took over as host of The Colbert Report, pushed for comprehensive immigration reform, hosted a summit on high quality early education, and welcomed this year's Kennedy Center Honorees to the White House. That's December 5th to December 11th or, "Zeros & Ones."

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

San Francisco Field Office Dec 11, 2014

Due to a strong storm system expected to hit the Bay Area on Thursday, December 11th , the San Francisco Field Office will have aliberal reschedule policy for customers unable to attend a scheduled interview on December 11, 2014 .  

Customers who cannot attend their interview due to weather should call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800- 375-5283 to request a rescheduled appointment.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

151st Anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address/ Naturalization Ceremony



USCIS: 151st Anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address/ Naturalization Ceremony

On Wednesday, Nov. 19, USCIS naturalized 16 new citizens during a special ceremony commemorating the 151st anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Author Kent Masterson Brown will deliver the keynote address during the ceremony at Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg,

Monday, December 8, 2014

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

USCIS 100:10. What is freedom of religion?



The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception located in Washington, D.C., honors Mary, the mother of Jesus, as Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Patroness of the United States and celebrates the diversity of the American Catholicism. (take a virtual tour)

As a Roman Catholic, I am proud to share my religious and cultural heritage that informs my work as an ESL/Citizenship teacher. 

USCIS 100:10. What is freedom of religion?

▪ You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Remembering Pearl Harbor

USCIS 100:81. Who did the United States fight in World War II?



VOANews: US Remembers Pearl Harbor, 70 Years Later

Hundreds estimated to be gathered at Pearl Harbor, where new visitor's center is to open at scene of attack (plus streaming audio)

VOANews: Pearl Harbor Fact Box

USCIS 100:81. Who did the United States fight in World War II?
  • Japan, Germany, and Italy

Thursday, December 4, 2014

For Native Americans, a Presidential Visit Sparks Hope

USCIS 100:87. Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.



VOAVideo: For Native Americans, a Presidential Visit Sparks Hope

Earlier this year, Barack Obama became only the fourth sitting U.S. president to visit a Native American reservation -- when he traveled to Standing Rock which stretches across more than 800,000 hectares (two million acres) of North and South Dakota. As the White House prepares to host an annual tribal nation conference on Dec. 3, VOA correspondent Aru Pande traveled to Standing Rock and talked to residents about their hopes for the future. http://www.voanews.com/media/video/native-americans-obama-visit-hope/2541704.html

Also watch: Obama Unveils Initiative to Lift Up Native American Youth

President Barack Obama has unveiled a new initiative aimed at helping Native American youth overcome poverty, substance abuse or other challenges. The announcement at the sixth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference followed a rare visit by the president to Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.

USCIS 100:87. Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.
[USCIS Officers will be supplied with a list of federally recognized American Indian tribes.]
▪ Cherokee
▪ Navajo
▪ Sioux
▪ Chippewa
▪ Choctaw
▪ Pueblo
▪ Apache
▪ Iroquois
▪ Creek
▪ Blackfeet
▪ Seminole
▪ Cheyenne
▪ Arawak
▪ Shawnee
▪ Mohegan
▪ Huron
▪ Oneida
▪ Lakota
▪ Crow
▪ Teton
▪ Hopi
▪ Inuit

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What is a "Lame Duck"?


ESLPod.com Blog:These Ducks Can’t Walk

“This week, the lame ducks are returning to Congress for their last bit of legislating (making laws). But no one seems too excited to see them.” That was the lede (or lead; the first sentence or paragraph) for a news story in the Washington Post last week.

Other newspapers and websites echoed (repeated) those feelings in their headlines (the title of a news story):
  • Lamest Lame Duck (Politico)
  • How Lame Will The Lame Ducks Be? (The Atlantic)
  • Don’t Let Lame Ducks Spend Your Money (American Spectator)
We all probably know what a duck is. But, a lame duck? (read more)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Obama’s Immigration Action Comes Under Attack in Congress



VOANews: Obama’s Immigration Action Comes Under Attack in Congress

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson defended President Barack Obama’s recent executive order on immigration Tuesday before the House Homeland Security Committee. As VOA’s Cindy Saine reports from Capitol Hill, Republican Party anger over what they see as an "executive power grab" might affect a government funding bill that has to be passed by December 11.
Originally published at -http://www.voanews.com/media/video/obama-executive-action-immigration-congress/2543623.html

Monday, December 1, 2014

US Politicians Busy Planning for 2016 Elections



VOA Learning English: US Politicians Busy Planning for 2016 Elections

The Republican Party is preparing to control both houses of the United States Congress in January. Republican candidates won big victories in the recent U.S. congressional elections. The Democratic Party lost its majority in the Senate. The Democrats must now adjust to being the minority party in both houses. (read more)