Sunday, December 31, 2017

Citizenship Resources for the Winter Holidays

VOANews: A Crystal Ball of Serenity for the New Year

Study Up During the Holidays!

US Citizenship Podcast
  • USCIS 100: 10. What is freedom of religion? (2011) mp3 / pdf
  • Washington Crossing the Delaware, Christmas Night 1776 (2012) pdf
  • A Citizenship Quiz for Christmas  (2015) mp3 / pdf
  • O. Henry, author of "Gift of the Magi," Bio, Practice N-400, and Civics Quiz (2017) pdf
  • Boxing Day post / video
  • A Citizenship Quiz for Kwanzaa (2016) mp3 / pdf / video post
  • A Citizenship Quiz for New Year’s Day (2015/2016) mp3 / pdf

More Resources:

Check back for more resources!

Friday, December 29, 2017

USCIS Form N-400 is now online!

Applicants can file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization online through their USCIS online account. When they use the interactive Form N-400, applicants will see questions, alerts, and notifications specific to the answers they provide while completing the form. Applicants will also see prompts and reminders to upload required evidence. This means each person follows a personalized path for completing the form based on the information that they provide.

By using the online account, applicants will be able to:

  • Update personal information online.
  • Answer optional questions in the Naturalization Eligibility Tool to help determine their eligibility for naturalization.
  • Create, edit, save, or delete a draft application.
  • Upload evidence.
  • Pay any fees and submit the application.
  • View real-time case information and the history of their interactions with USCIS.
  • Securely and directly communicate with USCIS about their case.

Currently, individuals can create a unique, online account and file their Form N-400 online, with only three exceptions. At this time, applicants must submit a paper Form N-400 if:

  • They are applying for citizenship based on having served in the U.S armed forces or based on their current service.
  • They want to apply from outside of the United States, or,
  • They are requesting a fee waiver or reduced fee.

USCIS is also introducing an online naturalization eligibility tool that helps intending applicants determine if they may be eligible to apply for naturalization. This optional tool provides information about the most common eligibility requirements for naturalization.
We encourage you to file online for Naturalization.

N-400 Online Filing Tool:

USCIS Online Account:

Thanks to USCIS for helping us become new US citizens in the New Year!

Intro to the USCIS Online N-400 Application for Naturalization podcast

USCIS N-400 Online Screencast 1 of 4: Create Your Account

USCIS N-400 Online Screencast 2 of 4: Eligibility

USCIS N-400 Online Screencast 3 of 4: Personal Info (Parts 1-11)

USCIS N-400 Online Screencast 4 of 4: Moral Character (Part 12)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Immigration Policy 2017 and 2018

VOANews: 2017: A Year of Change in Immigration Policy

Less than a year into his presidency, Donald Trump has reshuffled the list of priorities as to who, among the country's refugees, undocumented immigrants and immigrant hopefuls gets to stay in the United States, or enter the country. Few campaign promises have yet to come to fruition, and not without strong opposition and legal challenges. But for the many affected, 2017's decisions and reversals have led to a year of personal upheaval. Ramon Taylor reports.
Originally published at -

VOANews: Trump Immigration Agenda Stalled on Capitol Hill

President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress began the year with ambitious plans to remake major pieces of the nation’s broken immigration system. One of the president's most high profile campaign promises was to build a wall along the United States’ southern border with Mexico. VOA’s Congressional correspondent Katherine Gypson looks back at challenges the president faced on Capitol Hill building the Wall and carrying out other key pledges.
Originally published at -

VOANews: US Congress Leaves Immigration Topics for Next Year

Before adjourning for the holidays, U.S. lawmakers kept America's federal government funded for four weeks but left key questions unresolved, including the fate of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. VOA's Michael Bowman reports that Democrats did not follow through on threats to shut down the government unless Congress addressed the status of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants but will have another chance when government funding expires January 19.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


uscitizenpod: Two Citizenship Questions for a Joyous Kwanzaa!

Kwanzaa is a week long celebration (Dec 25 to Jan 1) held in the United States to honor universal African heritage and culture. 

Kwanzaa is a celebration that came out of the black nationalist movement of the 1960s. 

It was created as a way to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage.

Every night, people light a candle on a kinara (candle holder) which represent Kwanzaa's principles: 

Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. Source:

For the full quiz, see Citizenship Quiz for Kwanzaa

Also checkout

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Boxing Day

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

uscitizenpod: Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a secular holiday that is traditionally celebrated on December 26, the day after Christmas Day in England and its former colonies. December 26 is also the feast day of St. Stephen who collected food and clothing and gave them to the poor.  On Boxing Day, workers would received boxes of food and small gifts from their employers.  Frequently, there were used  clothing or blankets in the boxes.

Recently, Boxing Day has gained popularity in America.  Many families "box up" unused clothes, electronics, and furniture and donate them to charitable organizations such as Goodwill.

Goodwill was started in 1902 by the Reverend Edgar J. Helms of Morgan Methodist Chapel in Boston. Helms and his congregation collected used household goods and clothing being discarded in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired the unemployed or poor to repair them. The products were then redistributed to those in need.

Today, Goodwill has become an international nonprofit that is funded by thrift stores and provides more than 300,000 people with job training and community services each year.  Goodwill also offers free online job skills and technology courses--learn more at 

In the spirit of Boxing Day, we encourage you to donate your unused goods or volunteer with your local civic or community groups.

Boxing Day Resources

Goodwill Industries

More organizations in San Jose/Milpitas that accept household goods donations and need volunteers--check your local area for similar organizations!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

US Citizenship Podcast
  • USCIS 100: 10. What is freedom of religion? (2011) mp3 / pdf
  • Washington Crossing the Delaware, Christmas Night 1776 (2012) pdf
  • A Citizenship Quiz for Christmas  (2015) mp3 / pdf
  • Two Citizenship Questions for Christmas (2017) video

Saturday, December 23, 2017

National History Museum Highlights Role of Religion in Early America

VOANews: National History Museum Highlights Role of Religion in Early America

The role of religion in the formation and development of the United States is at the heart of an exhibition at the National Museum of American History in Washington. The exhibition, which runs until June 2018, explores the themes of religious diversity, freedom and growth from America's colonial era through the 1840s. VOA's Nikoleta Ilic spoke with the curator, Peter Manseau, and filed this report.
Originally published at -


Smithsonian National Museum of American History: Religion in Early America Exhibit

Religious freedom is a fundamental principle of American life. While taken for granted today, its acceptance emerged only gradually in the nation’s history. The many peoples who called early America home represented a great variety of spiritual traditions. Although most colonies had established churches that received state support, the framers of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights determined that the nation as a whole should not follow this precedent, but protect the free exercise of all religions. Rather than limiting belief or practice, religious freedom fostered diversity and growth.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

U.S. Citizenship Class 35, Fall 2017, Milpitas Adult School

Citizenship Class Holiday Feast at BBH Noodles.  Let's eat!

  • Washington Crossing the Delaware, Christmas Night 1776 (2012) pdf
  • A Citizenship Quiz for Christmas  (2015) mp3 / pdf
  • A Citizenship Quiz for New Year’s Day (2015/2016) mp3 / pdf

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Postcards of DC Daily Life by a Mexican Immigrant

VOANews: Postcards of DC Daily Life by a Mexican Immigrant

In the two years since he came to Washington, D.C., Carlos Carmonamedina has created almost 100 postcards of everyday scenes in the nation’s capital. Many have DC landmarks in the background, like the White House, the Capitol and the Washington Monument, but all give a taste of what life in D.C. is like. Niki Papadogiannakis spoke to Carlos about why he documents D.C.
Originally published at -

See more at  or follow

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

U.S. Citizenship Class 34, Fall 2017, Milpitas Adult School

ListenAndReadAlong: Christmas Story - Gift of the Magi - VOA Special English

Tues Dec 19 MAE will be testing new students.

We must combine Citizenship, ESL 4, and ESL 5 students for Dec 19 only.

We will talk about civics and English.  We will read:

William Sidney Porter (O.Henry) Bio and N-400 and Civics Quiz (updated)

'Gift of the Magi" by O.Henry.  You can  find the story here:

You can also find Citizenship Resources for the Winter Holidays

It will be a good opportunity to practice your English.  
Thank you.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Edwin Cornejo's Citizenship Interview

I am still working on the captions for the video--check back soon

Every week, we bring you practice interviews, quizzes, resources, and the latest news that help you get ready for your US citizenship interview.
GREAT NEWS! You can now file you N-400 online at I will also post more info next week.
Today, I interview Edwin Cornejo. You can follow along by downloadingout "Regular" citizenship Interview, which contains 75 questions based on the N-400. After the interview, Edwin talks about his hopes to continue his biological studies and perhaps go on to law school. Edwin also talks the importance of protecting the environment and what we can from countries such as Costa Rica and Panama.
Please visit us on the web at where you can find more resources for Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year,and for you enviromentalists, Earth Day.
A “Regular” Citizenship Interview Based on the USCIS N-400r (6 pgs, 75 questions) (updated 10/01/2016)
vocab pdf:
A Citizenship Quiz for Kwanzaa
Citizenship Resources for Earth Day
10 Citizenship Questions in Honor of Earth Day

LISTEN to US Citizenship Podcast
Android Users! You can now listen to US Citizenship Podcast on Spotify on your Android mobile devices!
US Citizenship Podcast Show website 
US Citizenship Podcast Daily blog: 
Download our FREE Android app: 
Download our FREE Apple iPhone/iPad: 
Subscribe via Apple Podcasts: 
Watch our videos on YouTube: 
Order "US Citizenship Bootcamp: Exercises and Quizzes to Pass the Naturalization Interview" by Jennifer Gagliardi,

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Friday, December 15, 2017

Citizenship Resources for Bill of Rights Day

uscitizenpod: Bill of Rights Interview Quizzes
The texts of the Bill of Rights matched with questions from the USCIS N-400 Part 12 and the USCIS 100 History/Government questions.
  • A Quick Review of the Bill of Rights and the N-400 Part 12 plus Civics Questions mp3 and pdf and video (2017)
  • The Bill of Rights and the N-400 Part 12 plus Civics Questions mp3 and pdf (2016)
  • A Citizenship Quiz about the Bill of Rights pdf (2015)

uscitizenpod: Bill of Rights Vocabulary Quizzes

More Bill of Rights Resources

Check back for more resources....

Thursday, December 14, 2017

U.S. Citizenship Class 33, Fall 2017, Milpitas Adult School

No, not Learning Chocolate, we will be taking Assessments

Today we give 2 (or possibly 3) CASAS tests to our current Citizenship Students

  • The Citizenship Interview Test (CIT) is a one-on-one oral assessment that simulates the citizenship applicant's English-language interview with a USCIS examiner (This test will be given to students who have been in class for several months).
  • The Government and History for Citizenship tests reveal how much students know about American government and history. (All citizenship students will take this test)

Life and Work Reading Sample Test  (All citizenship students will take this test)

Use these sample test items to:
  • familiarize students with CASAS items
  • help reduce student test-taking anxiety
These items are samples to familiarize students with CASAS test formats. Since they are not actual tests, they are not predictors of student performance, and are not valid for level placement, assessment, or for reporting standardized scores.
Printable Version
PowerPoint Version

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

His Daughter Graduates. He Faces Deportation.

NYTimes: His Daughter Graduates. He Faces Deportation.

Juan Rodriguez entered the U.S. illegally from El Salvador over a decade ago. Now, after years of checking in with immigration officers, he is told he will be deported as his daughter prepares to graduate from high school.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

U.S. Citizenship Class 32, Fall 2017, Milpitas Adult School

Virgen de Tepeyac,

Patroness of the Americas,

Madre sin fronteras,


  • Mix and Match Citizenship Interviews pdf
  • Voices of Freedom Activity Book (Part 12)



Monday, December 11, 2017

A Silicon Valley Job Fair Caters to New Immigrants and Refugees

VOANews: A Silicon Valley Job Fair Caters to New Immigrants and Refugees

More than a million college-educated immigrants in the U.S. are in low skilled jobs, according to estimates. But they have trouble finding work in their professions, including in the U.S. tech industry, which desperately needs skilled workers. A special technology industry job fair this week in San Francisco brought together refugees and new immigrants with potential employers. VOA's Michelle Quinn reports.
Originally published at -

Learn more at Upwardly Global

There are about 2 million immigrants and refugees currently in the U.S. who have college degrees from their home countries but are unemployed or working far below their skill level. Upwardly Global is the first and longest-serving organization that helps these men and women integrate into the professional American workforce.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Resources for Human Rights Day

uscitizenpod: A Quick Guide to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

HRAC videos:

More resources:

USCIS 100:9. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
  • life
  • liberty
  • pursuit of happiness