Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Citizens from Milpitas

Thanh (left) took the Oath of Allegiance last Friday at the USCIS office in San Jose.

Phuc (right) just passed his Citizenship interview and invited his friends to dinner at Pho Kim Long. Phuc will celebrate his citizenship with family on Independence Day. You can watch a video of Phuc reading an essay in honor of Memorial Day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Folklife Festival Opens in Washington

VOAVideo: Folklife Festival Opens in Washington

The 43rd annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival opened in Washington this week. Roughly one million people are expected to attend the 10-day festival. Producer Zulima Palacio visited the grassy expanse known as "the National Mall," where the festival is staged. Mary Molla narrates.

Friday, June 26, 2009

United We Serve: President Obama and the First Lady Pack 15,000 Backpacks for Children of Our Troops

VOAVideo: President Obama and the First Lady Pack 15,000 Backpacks for Children of Our Troops

President Obama speaks at Fort McNair, focusing on the importance of service to our communities and encouraged everyone to do their part this summer as part of United We Serve. The President and First Lady joined Congressional family members and five national nonprofit organizations to pack 15,000 backpacks full of books, healthy snacks, Frisbees and other items for the children of our servicemen and women. June 25, 2009. (Public Domain)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Obama Set for First Step on Immigration Reform

Vice President Biden, President Obama, Senator McCain and others
are working together for Immigration Reform President Obama: Working Together for Immigration Reform

The President speaks to the press after meeting with a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders to discuss ideas for immigration reform. June 25, 2009.

Obama Set for First Step on Immigration Reform By GINGER THOMPSON and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN, NYTimes

President Obama is expected on Thursday, June 25 to begin laying the groundwork for sweeping immigration legislation.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

United We Serve: All For Good

Tuyen, Tam and Mao prepare the table for "I Sign the Constitution"
on Constitution Day, September 17.

Are you looking for ways to give back to your community? All for Good it simple to find and share volunteer activities with friends and family.

Inspired by the call of President Obama to engage more Americans in service, a group of individuals from the technology, marketing and public sectors came together to build an open source application that allows you to find and share volunteer activities. All for Good lets you browse activities and find events based on your location or interests. The site is governed by Our Good Works a nonprofit organization that was formed by some of the people who initiated the project and is the partner site for

Even better - sign in with your primary social network to connect with friends, and discover and share interesting activities. Doing good is more fun together!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

United We Serve: First Lady Michelle Obama calls on you to serve

First Lady Michelle Obama calls on you to serve

On June 22, 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama officially kicked off United We Serve -- a call to all Americans to join a volunteer effort this summer and be part of building a new foundation for America, one community at a time. The initiative is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency dedicated to fostering service in communities across the country. Learn more at (public domain)

Monday, June 22, 2009

United We Serve: June 22 to Sept. 11

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

United We Serve: June 22 to September 11 (read the transcript)

This summer, President Obama is calling on all of us – young and old, from every background, all across this country – to participate in our nation’s recovery and renewal by serving in our communities. From June 22 to September 11, United We Serve will begin to engage Americans from coast to coast in addressing community needs in education, health, energy and the environment, and community renewal.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The President Hosts a Young Mens BBQ to Celebrate Fatherhood The President Hosts a Young Mens BBQ to Celebrate Fatherhood

The President hosts a Young Mens Barbeque at the White House for students from local schools to discuss the importance of fatherhood and taking personal responsibility. He is joined by well-known fathers from across the country, as well as everyday fathers who have successfully managed to fulfill their obligations. All of these men serve as exemplary examples of the spirit of fatherhood, and can serve as examples for these young men and men across the country. June 19, 2009. (Public Domain)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Juneteenth and the Emancipation Proclamation III

On this day in 1865, more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, those who found themselves still enslaved in Galveston, Texas had their hopes realized and their prayers answered. Contrary to what others had told them, the rumors they had heard were indeed true. The Civil War had ended, and they were now free. . .

Friday, June 19, 2009

Juneteenth and the Emancipation Proclamation II

VOANews: June 19th Marks a Joyous, Yet Solemn, Occasion

June 19th, is America's second Independence Day. There's the biggie -- the July 4th celebration of the nation's founding. But five states and 205 U.S. cities have also proclaimed June 19th an independence holiday. "Juneteenth," as it is called, commemorates the official and final end of slavery for about four million African Americans 141 years ago.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Juneteenth and the Emancipation Proclamation I

San Jose 2009 Juneteenth Festival - A Family Affair

The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in most Southern states.

Juneteenth is a June 19th holiday that celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation. It started in Texas and is honored by fourteen states.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Continental Flag of June 17, 1775

The Continental Flag of June 17, 1775 flying over UN Plaza, San Francisco

Flying from the top of Bunker Hill, it became the symbol of a United States determined to establish a new concept of government. Sympathy for this cause would foreshadow a magnificent alliance between france and the United States. At sea it would be a d'Estaing of the French Navy and John Paul Jones of the Ranger; on land, Lafayette and Washington. Years later in World War I France would resound with American soldiers shouting, "Lafayette, we are here!"

Plaque of the Continental Flag flying over UN Plaza, San Francisco

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

White House Anniversary Greetings

Gene & Elinor Gagliardi display an Anniversary Greeting
from the President GW Bush and the First Lady ,
given in honor of their fifty-first anniversary.

Over fifty years ago, my parents Gene and Elinor Gagliardi met at the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana. They graduated on June 15, 1957, got married on June 16, and drove for the next four days across the country so that my father could accept his naval comission on the USS Hancock. Fifty-two years and five children later, they are still going strong.

Last year, I knew that I would be out of town on their anniversary, so I wanted to do something extra special. I filled-out a simple online application at, and six weeks later my parents were thrilled to receive anniversary greetings from President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

Instead of applying online, the Obama administration requests that people interested in receiving Golden Anniversary, Wedding, Birth greetings, etc submit their request in writing six weeks before the event to:

The White House
Attn: Greetings Office
Washington, DC 20502-0039

Please check EHow or USGovInfo for further requirements.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Practice the N-400: Part 8: Marital History

More Listening: USCitzenPod Wikispaces: Marital Status

Monday, June 15, 2009

From Flag Day through Independence Day...

A Promise of Freedom: An Introduction to US History & Civics for Immigrants

"I also call upon the people of the United States to observe with pride and all due ceremony those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, set aside by the Congress (89 Stat. 211)

  • as a time to honor America,
  • celebrate our heritage in public gatherings and activities,
  • and recite publicly the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America."


Two American Soldiers Become U.S. Citizens at First USCIS Naturalization Ceremony Ever Held in Latin America

USCIS: Two American Soldiers Become U.S. Citizens at First USCIS Naturalization Ceremony Ever Held in Latin America

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – The U.S. Embassy here today hosted U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) first naturalization ceremony ever held in Latin America.

“I can think of no greater privilege than to be the first to welcome as the newest citizens of the United States two American soldiers, Army Staff Sgt. Damien Milne (Marshall Islands) and Army Sgt. Carmen Villa (Mexico), who currently serve our nation in Honduras and who have each already completed two tours of duty in Iraq,” said Michael Aytes, USCIS’ acting deputy director.

News Release: Two American Soldiers Become U.S. Citizens at First USCIS Naturalization Ceremony Ever Held in Latin America (45KB PDF)

News Release in Spanish: Dos soldados americanos se convirtieron en ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos en la primera ceremonia de ciudadanía que se celebra en América Latina (47KB PDF)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

EL Civics: American Flag - Flag Day

EL American Flag - Flag Day

American flag painted on the side of a barn, a semi-truck, motorcycle, and other cool places. Great for Flag Day and Memorial Day celebrations. More videos from EL Civics...

EL Flag Day Lesson

Flag Day is on June 14. It is also called National Flag Day. It is a holiday to celebrate the adoption of the American Flag by the Second Continental Congress in 1777. It is not an official federal holiday. Schools, banks, and post offices are open on Flag Day.

Kudos to Christina Niven (aka tinkerbellchime) for another great set of lessons!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

US Greencards Available to Investors

VOAVideo: US Greencards Available to Investors

Some American companies are trying to attract overseas investment by offering U.S. greencards to wealthy foreigners as an incentive. As part of a pilot program, U.S. Immigration authorities have approved several 'regional centers' - made up of corporations, organizations or agencies - that can offer EB5 immigrant visas to foreign nationals who are willing invest their money in a development. Steve Mort reports from Orlando, Florida, where managers of a resort complex near Disney World say they have received interest from potential investors around the world.

For more info, see: Immigration through Investment

Thursday, June 11, 2009

USCIS 100 Multiple-Choice Test B (30 questions)

Click the photo to see the 2009 Milpitas Adult School Citizenship Class

USCIS 100 Multiple-Choice Test B is the second of a three multiple-choice tests based on the USCIS 100 Questions. This test has 30 questions. Direct download: q100-30b.pdf

Also checkout:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

USCIS 100 Multiple-Choice Test A (30 questions)

Aloha, New Citizen Lac Nguyet Nga!

USCIS 100 Multiple-Choice Test A is the first of a three multiple-choice tests based on the USCIS 100 Questions. This test has 30 questions.
Direct download: q100-30a.pdf

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

D-Day Plus 65

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

  • Japan, Germany, and Italy

VOAVideo: D-Day Plus 65

On June 6th, 1944 over 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, in northern France, in a push to liberate Europe from Hitler's Nazi forces. Now, 65 years later, the memories of that day linger along that windswept coast and its quiet villages, as VOA's Sonja Pace reports from Ste. Mere Eglise in Normandy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rep. Honda talks about the Reuniting Families Act

Rep. Mike Honda represents parts of San Jose, Milpitas, and Campbell. Rep. Honda appeared on NBC to talk about the Reuniting Families Act. The bill contains practical solutions for reducing family immigration visa backlogs and promoting humane and timely reunification of immigrant families. You can find out more on the bill by clicking here.

Rep. Honda also spoke briefly about The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This legislation will create and save jobs; help state and local governments with their budget shortfalls to prevent deep cuts in basic services such as health, education, and law enforcement; cut taxes for working families and invest in the long-term health of our economy.

Kudos to Rep. Honda for all his good works!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

VOA: Obama Addresses World's Muslims (summary)

VOA: Obama Addresses World's Muslims (summary)

U.S. President Barack Obama says it is time for a new beginning in relations between America and the world's Muslims. VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson reports in a speech in Cairo, the president said Muslims and Americans should unite to confront violent extremism and promote the cause of peace.For more information, see:

President Obama Speaks to the Muslim World from Cairo, Egypt

"A New Beginning"

The President gives a speech in Cairo, Egypt, outlining his personal commitment to engagement with the Muslim world, based upon mutual interests and mutual respect, and discusses how the United States and Muslim communities around the world can bridge some of the differences that have divided them. June 4, 2009. (

  • Read Text of President's speech

Obama addresses US-Muslims Relations

President Barack Obama will address Muslims around the world from Cairo, Egypt, on 4 June. In a much-anticipated speech, he is expected to urge reconciliation among Muslim states and the West. The speech is expected to generate considerable discussion.

VOA TV-radio-web production featuring President Obama's speech - live begins at 1000 UTC on 4 June (6 am Washington DC time, 3 am San Francisco).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Twentieth Anniversary of Tiananmen Square

VOAVideo: Tiananmen Mother Still Grieves for her Lost Son

When Chinese troops brutally suppressed demonstrations that had been growing on Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, hundreds of people were killed. As the 20th anniversary of the June Fourth demonstration approaches, one mother still clearly remembers her son's death and is calling on the Chinese government to reassess its officially upheld verdict, that the demonstrations were counter-revolutionary. Stephanie Ho reports from Beijing.

Teacher Jennifer's commentary: I am re-posting the VOAVideo Tiananmen Mother Still Grieves for her Lost Son to honor the brave Chinese citizens who work day and night to promote Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Assembly, and the Rights to Petition the Government for the Redress
of Grievances within China.

I also honor the Government of China which has worked steadily for the past twenty years to extend Prosperity and Basic Human Rights to all of her citizens.

It is my deepest wish that the people and governments of the United States and China work together to share the fruits of their labor with all people everywhere!

Citizenship Test 2009

My Dear Students and Friends,

I am sorry that I missed class from Thursday, May 28 until Tuesday, June 2. I have been sick with an uncontrollable cough and low fever.

Yesterday I went to the doctor to get some prescription medication. I think I will return to school Wed, June 3. Please call the school office 408-635-2692 before you come to school.

Here is a multiple-choice test based on the N-400 and the 100 Questions for your homework.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you,

Jennifer Gagliardi
Direct download: citz-test-2009.pdf

PS Did you see our new slide show yet?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Biometric Information Tests for Non-Citizens Departing US

VOAVideo: Biometric Information Tests for Non-Citizens Departing US

The Obama administration is launching a pilot program to collect biometric information (fingerprints) from non-U.S. citizens when they leave the country. The federal government began testing the system at two big city airports this week. VOA's Michael Bowman reports, the initiative is the latest effort, following the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, to keep track of those who come to and depart from the United States.