The U.S. citizenship test is in the process of being updated after 5 years, with the new version expected later in 2024. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has proposed the new test to have a section to assess verbal English skills. The officer would ask the applicant to verbally describe ordinary photos of activities such as weather or food. Currently, the test evaluates speaking ability through asking the applicant personal questions that have already been answered in their naturalization paperwork. Some immigrants and advocates are concerned about this change in the English speaking part of the citizenship test. Another proposed change would make the civics section covering U.S. history and government to be multiple-choice rather than the current verbal short-answer format.
Migrants have expressed their concern over the proposed changes to the English-speaking section of the citizenship test. For example, some are concerned the speaking section based on photos rather than personal questions will make the test harder and could increase the stress applicants are already feeling. Advocates have argued that the proposed change regarding the civics section on U.S. history and government may require a larger base of knowledge if it is changed to multiple choice questioning rather than the current verbal short answers.
The Biden administration was to launch speedy asylum screenings through Border Patrol this spring and promised to provide migrants with legal counsel. Since these screenings started, access to attorneys has not been provided in many cases.
Florida immigration law
The new immigration law in Florida has taken effect and is already negatively impacting the state’s agricultural and construction industries.
Four found dead along the border
Texas authorities have recovered four individuals along the southern border from the Rio Grande River on Saturday. An infant girl was one of the four bodies found.
Immigrants from Venezuela have doubled since 2021. Legal Aid Society, along with other advocates and organizations are requesting the Biden administration to redesignate Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelan migrants.
El Paso mass shooter
The gunman who fatally shot 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso was sentenced to 90 consecutive life terms, including 45 hate crime charges. Before his attack in 2019, he posted online about an “invasion” of immigrants to the U.S.
U.S. and Mexican officials are exploring a new U.S. refugee program for some non-Mexican asylum seekers waiting in Mexico. The program would allow Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan refugees in Mexico to show they were in the country before June 6 to qualify.