Papers Please

A close look at the path to citizenship

Donald Trump has some harsh words for El Chapo

Why do we have birthright citizenship, and should it change?


Donald Trump has laid out an immigration policy that includes a plan to end the principle that babies born in the US automatically become citizens. But what are the origins of that principle and the practicality and legality of the Republican presidential candidate’s plan?


Why one woman’s fight to be with her husband wound up at the Supreme Court

Eglise de Dieu, a church in Harlem, has a congregation of around 200 people, most of whom have roots in Haiti. Songs alternate between English and Haitian Creole, with Creole lyrics projected.

Here’s why a court ruling in the Dominican Republic is spurring international protests

Conflict & Justice
Angel Ryono in elementary school

Citizenship? No thanks, I’ll pass for now

Anais Arias-Aragon poses for pictures with her certificate after receiving proof of U.S. citizenship

An Oregon high school class creates an alternate test for US citizenship

Development & Education
The Oath of Allegiance is held next to an American flag during a naturalization ceremony for citizen candidates in Washington, DC, on July 3, 2013.

What does the US citizenship exam actually test?

Development & Education

The US citizenship has an amazingly high pass rate — but it also has a number of critics. They argue the questions, frankly, are bad. And the test doesn’t encourage immigrants to become better citizens, but rather to memorize facts they can write on the test.

In 2012, Tarek Hamdi, from Egypt, received his US naturalization certificate. He first applied for citizenship in 2001 but faced more than a decade of delays and denials until he won his case.

A recently-uncovered federal program turned one man’s path to citizenship into a 11-year trek

Conflict & Justice

Tarek Hamdi wanted to be a US citizen. The federal government wasn’t so sure. He spent 11 years battling bureaucracy and a new federal program to get his citizenship.

Immigrants take the oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony to become new citizens of the U.S. in New York.

What’s the big deal about US citizenship?

Conflict & Justice

Citizenship was once a dream for immigrants. Now, the difference between a green card and citizenship may not be worth the trouble for many.

A woman holds up her certificate of U.S. citizenship

Discussion: Why is citizenship so significant in the debate on immigration reform?

Global Politics

What makes the issue of citizenship so divisive? What does the “path to citizenship” look like now and what obstacles already exist for immigrants? What impact might the different plans have on this country? Join an online discussion.

New citizens are naturalized during a ceremony in Oakland, California, on August 13, 2013.

Could you pass the test? International citizenship tests are often more interested in cultural quirks than national knowledge

Global Politics

At some level, all countries push new citizens to integrate and that’s where civics and language citizenship tests come in. But when you take a longer look at how citizenship exams are developed worldwide, you realize they can have less to do with methodology than promoting a strict cultural identity.