Friday, February 9, 2018

A US Citizenship Interview for African-American History Month 2018

uscitizenpod: A US Citizenship Interview for African-American History Month 2018

Happy African-American History Month!

During the month of February, US Citizenship Podcast explores the connection between the African American History and the USCIS Citizenship Interview.

Our first interview is a re-edit of a Citizenship interview with Krestos Negasi (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
2013 pdf: 
2016 mp3: 

This mock Citizenship interview was inspired by “Holding the Bag," a high beginning ESL novel about an Ethiopian-American cab driver in Washington DC.

Negasi is a Washington DC taxi driver from Ethiopia who has been in the U.S. for many years and has a family. He accidentally becomes involved in a robbery and faces a moral issue.

You can order "Holding the Bag" by Ana Gianola or "Citizenship Passing the Test" by Lynn Weintraub from

“Holding the Bag” (a high beginning ESL novel) by Ana Gianola, 978-1-56420-544-5.

Citizenship Passing the Test

  • This three book series contains complete citizenship test preparation for anyone wanting to become a U.S. citizen, especially those at the lowest reading level. The Civics and Literacy book cover all the 100 questions in a simple, easy-to-understand format while our Ready for the Interview book is updated to reflect the new changes on the N-400 form and green card.

Thanks to for their outstanding ESL/Citizenship resources.

More about "Holding the Bag"

From July 5-July 21, 2017, I taught a combined ESL 2 and 3 class at Milpitas Adult School. We took this opportunity to study ESL/Citizenship and read "Holding the Bag," an ESL novel set in Washington DC that had many opportunities to study for the Citizenship interview. During our class, I posted daily audio files, videos, and online Citizenship activities related to each chapter of the book. After the class ended, we continued to post EdPuzzles of the VOA Learning English Presidents videos to our class website,

Since this three-week summer school class ended, I am proud to announce that four students have since U.S. citizens--students who would normally not qualify for Citizenship class because of their low literacy level. Why did they pass? Because they had a goal: to become a U.S. citizen. To achieve their goal, they continued to study Citizenship and practice speaking English a little bit every day, inside and outside of the classroom. Beginning Level Citizenship Classes


Before we end the show, I would like to give you a heads up about the upcoming congressional budget which is centered around DACA and US immigration policy.

DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This is an American immigration policy that allows some individuals who entered the country as minors, to live, work, and go to school in the United States with out fear of deportation.

Last September, the Trump administration tried to end the DACA program. In January 2018, a federal judge said that USCIS must continue to renew DACA applications. On Jan 19, the US government shutdown for two days over a stalemate on DACA. At that time, Congress voted to defer a decison about DACA for three weeks. The deadline is coming up this week, on Feb 15. congress has still been unable to make a decision about DACA.

Although a government shutdown does not affect USCIS citizenship services, take this is your opportunity to make your voice heard. Contact your federal representatives by phone or email via or

You can also write or call the President 

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Write, record, tweet, or post a simple message such as: "I support DACA"

For more info, watch or listen to our Jan 21, 2018 podcast

VOANews: Deal on US Immigration Reform Remains Elusive

Citizenship Resources for African American History Month which include Citizenship, Immigration, and Government Resources in African Languages

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