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WHAT IS CIVICS? What is civics? Civics – the study of rights and duties of citizens Why should you study civics? Can you think of situations in which you should be informed of our political and economic systems? - jury duty - voting - making and economic investment - want to change the government - you have been discriminated against - pay taxes - if you break the law / go to jail What is a citizen? Citizen – a member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to it by birth or naturalization and is entitled to full civil rights. Citizens have duties and responsibilities. Duty – an action required by law Ex. jury duty, going to school, obeying the law, paying taxes Responsibility – an action that a citizen should take Ex. community service, voting, service in the military, displaying patriotism Citizenship One can become a citizen by 1. Birth (natural born citizen) a. Citizen by blood – parents are US Citizens b. Citizen by soil – born on US soil but your parents are not US citizens. (this does not apply to children of diplomats) 2. Becoming a US citizen (naturalized citizen) a. Immigrant signs a declaration of intention that is filed with the CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) (Note: the CIS was once called the INS – Immigration and Naturalization Services) b. One may file an application for citizenship, after living in the US for 5 years (if you are married to a US Citizen, 3 years), living in your state for 3 months, and reaching the age of 18 yrs.. c. Applicant meets with a CIS official for an interview– official is looking for good moral character d. Applicant must pass a citizenship test. e. Applicant pledges oath of allegiance to the US If applicant has children under the age of 18, they automatically become citizens. Millions apply for citizenship each year but only about 675,000 are accepted each year. Relatives and people with needed job skills have priority in receiving citizenship. We are a nation of immigrants “E Pluribus Unum” – out of many, one Immigrant – people legally admitted as permanent residents of a country. Illegal Immigrants – those residing in the US without permission from the government. Alien – non-citizen Is the US as a “Melting Pot” or a “Tossed Salad”? Melting Pot – this metaphor is used to describe a culture in which groups of people have lost their specific identities (in other words they have assimilated into the dominate culture) Tossed Salad – this metaphor is used to describe a culture in which groups maintain their unique identities within the larger group.