Many immigrants in Kentucky come to our nation with dreams of a better life for them and their families. Once here, they may be anxious to start the process of becoming citizens of the United States. Therefore, it is important for them to understand both the rights and the responsibilities that come with U.S. citizenship.
Citizens of the United States enjoy many rights. They have freedom of expression and freedom of religion. If accused of a crime, they have the right to a prompt trial in front of an impartial jury. They enjoy the right to vote. They have the right to apply for jobs in the federal government, where being a U.S. citizen is required. Finally, they have the basic freedom enjoyed by all citizens of the United States to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
However, citizens of the United States also have certain responsibilities. They need to support the U.S. Constitution, and defend it when necessary. They need to keep abreast of issues that have an impact on their community. They need to participate in the political process and participate in their community happenings. They must obey all laws. They also need to respect the rights and beliefs of others, even if they differ from their own. They must pay all applicable taxes on time and in full. They may need to serve jury duty. Finally, they need to be prepared to defend the U.S. if necessary.
As this shows, U.S. citizens enjoy many rights, but they also have many responsibilities. Immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens or who have other questions about U.S. permanent residency may want to discuss their situation with an experienced immigration law attorney.
Source: uscis.gov, “Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities,” accessed Dec. 31, 2017