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Joe Biden cancels Donald Trump’s ‘tougher’ citizenship test

Joe Biden cancels Donald Trump’s ‘tougher’ citizenship test saying it created ‘barriers’ to naturalization by doubling number of questions

  • President Joe Biden has scrapped former President Donald Trump’s more complicated version of the citizenship test
  • A policy memo sent out by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said the Trump-approved 2020 test will be discontinued after April 19 
  • For a brief period of time, citizenship applicants may be able to choose between the 2020 test and the 2008 version, which features fewer questions 
  • On December 1, the Trump administration rolled out a test that was 20 questions long with applicants needing to answer 12 correctly to pass 
  • The 2008 test featured 10 questions and applicants needed to only answer six correctly out of a pool of 100 options
  • The 2020 test included 128 questions to study from, with critics saying a number of them had a conservative slant 

President Joe Biden has scrapped former President Donald Trump‘s more complicated version of the citizenship test, the administration confirmed Monday, over fears that it ‘may inadvertently create potential barriers’ to naturalization.

A policy memo sent out by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said that after April 19, the Trump-approved 2020 version of the test will no longer be in use, and the Biden administration will use the 2008 version instead.   

On December 1, the Trump administration rolled out a 20-question test, with applicants needing to answer 12 questions correctly to become U.S. citizens. 

After April 19, citizenship applicants will only be able to take the 2008 exam, which has fewer questions than the 2020 exam that former President Donald Trump’s administration doubled the length of  

President Joe Biden

Former President Donald Trump

President Joe Biden’s administration is reverting to the 2008 version of the citizenship test, instead of the 2020 version that President Donald Trump’s team implemented before he left office 

The previous test was only 10 questions long – and six questions needed to be answered correctly.  

Overall, the 2020 version of the test pulled from 128 possible civics questions, while the 2008 test came from a pool of 100 questions.     

‘Multiple commenters noted that there was little advance notice before implementation of the 2020 civics test, which raised concerns about limited time for study and preparation of training materials and resources,’ read a policy alert document from USCIS

To ensure immigrants won’t face similar whiplash as the administration reverts back to the 2008 test, applicants who filed after December 1 and before March 1 and are scheduled to have an interview before April 19 may have the choice to take either test.  

Critics of the Trump test believed it showed a conservative bias. 

For example, questions about who a U.S. senator or a U.S. House member respresents were answered using the term ‘citizen’ as opposed to person. 

The 14th Amendment of the Constitution says that representatives are apportioned by ‘the whole number of persons in each State’ – and makes not distinction in regards to immigration status. 

However, the Trump administration fought in court to have the census only apply to citizens, so the question mirrored the administration’s ideal policy. 

Northwestern University law professor Steven Lubet wrote in Politico Magazine that the test could include up to five questions on the Federalist Papers, which are ‘revered’ by modern conservatives. 

But the over-reliance of Federalist Papers’ questions included one that was inaccurate. 

Immigrants were asked to name a document that influenced the U.S. Constitution. 

Among the ‘correct’ answers was the Federalist Papers, but as Lubet pointed out, the Federalist Papers were written to urge adoption of the Constitution, and so they couldn’t influence the Constitution itself. 

A question that includes the Second Amendment could also lead to confusion as it asks, ‘What are three rights of everyone living in the United States?’ 

‘Everyone’ doesn’t have the right to a firearm, as federal law doesn’t grant that right to a convicted felon. 

THE TRUMP CITIZENSHIP TEST QUESTIONS DUMPED BY BIDEN

The Biden administration is reverting to the 100 questions used in the 2008 citizenship test, abandoning the 128 questions drawn up for the 2020 version. Here are some of the Trump questions which will no longer be used

8. Why is the Declaration of Independence important? 

  • It says America is free from British control. 
  • It says all people are created equal. 
  • It identifies inherent rights. 
  • It identifies individual freedoms.

31. Who does a U.S. senator represent? 

  • Citizens of their state 
  • (The previous answer was ‘people of their state.’) 

49. Why is the Electoral College important? 

  • It decides who is elected president.
  • It provides a compromise between the popular election of the president and congressional selection. 

60. What is the purpose of the 10th Amendment? 

  • (It states that the) powers not given to the federal government belong to the states or to the people. 

65. What are three rights of everyone living in the United States? (The previous test required two correct answers) 

  • Freedom of expression 
  • Freedom of speech 
  • Freedom of assembly 
  • Freedom to petition the government 
  • Freedom of religion 
  • The right to bear arms 

73. The colonists came to America for many reasons. Name one.

  • Freedom 
  • Political liberty 
  • Religious freedom 
  • Economic opportunity 
  • Escape persecution 

81. There were 13 original states. Name five. (The previous test required three correct answers)

  • New Hampshire 
  • Massachusetts 
  • Rhode Island 
  • Connecticut 
  • New York 
  • New Jersey 
  • Pennsylvania 
  • Delaware 
  • Maryland 
  • Virginia 
  • North Carolina 
  • South Carolina 
  • Georgia 

111. Why did the United States enter the Vietnam War? 

  • To stop the spread of communism 

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