Is It Better to Gain U.S. Citizenship? Free Essay Sample

Published: 2022-04-19
Is It Better to Gain U.S. Citizenship? Free Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Immigration
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1567 words
14 min read

Dual citizenship is achievable by naturalization, which occurs after meeting specific requirements, such as a minimum number of years living in the country one seeks naturalization. It does not always call on renouncing the former citizenship when obtaining the second citizenship. For example, to file for U.S citizenship, one must meet specific eligibility requirements, such as good moral character and adult age by the time of filing. Despite reaching the conditions, the individual has to decide whether they would want to gain U.S. citizenship from a benefits-to-be-enjoyed point of view. From the research question, yes, it is better gaining U.S. American citizenship. U.S. citizenship accords one the benefits of working on the most prominent economy globally, a broader employment pool, more technological advancement and ultimately the ability to exercise freedoms and rights unlike in most other states.

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The United States, in general, is a nation of immigrants, and throughout history, immigrants continually seek to go to America to look for a better way of life. As such, it has strengthened the nation in the process. Deciding to become a U.S. citizen is one of the most critical decisions in a person's life. First, when one chooses to apply for naturalization, they must show their commitment to the United States. They will also show loyalty to the constitution and the people. Through naturalization, one agrees and accepts all the responsibilities of being a citizen and, in return, is rewarded with all the rights and privileges that are part of the citizenship (Kando, 2001). It is better to gain U.S. citizenship as it comes with myriad constitutional benefits, especially since the laws of the state accord a massive amount of rights to both citizens and non-citizens. However, some rights are only for citizens, and as such, gaining citizenship accords one the opportunity to enjoy them. Green card holders and permanent residents weigh in on the debate as they feel that citizenship imposes significant benefits and creates an opportune chance to live and work in the United States. Gaining U.S. citizenship by naturalization is inexpensive as the fees are minimal. Citizenship is cheaper to maintain than permanent residence status because, over the years, green card renewal fees have continued to rise, making it more expensive; significantly, lifetime U.S. citizenship is better to attain and cheaper to maintain.

U.S. citizenship comes with priority services. For example as a citizen, one gets VIP-like services and treatment when traveling abroad both alone and with other members of the family. U.S. citizens who wish to petition family members as immigrants to the U.S receive priority compared to permanent residents. The law does not limit the number of immigrant visas each citizen's family can request, file or seek. Obtaining citizenship that comes with an American passport allows one to travel to many other countries internationally without difficulties. Permanent residence as opposed to gaining citizenship puts one at a higher risk of revocation. An individual, as a result, can later be deported or even face significant hurdles when renewing the green card, which is an expensive endeavor. Additionally, a permanent resident may fail to receive entry back into the United States after traveling abroad because the officer at the Customs and Border Protection Office approves re-entry. One may biasedly be denied entry, making life miserable; nonetheless, such cases are rare after gaining U.S. citizenship. Citizenship, undoubtedly, makes life easier and reduces chances re-entry revocation after traveling abroad, unless in cases with enough evidence of a crime committed against the state (Kolker, 2014).

Unlike permanent residents and green card holders, gaining citizenship grants an individual the right to vote. Once granted citizenship, one receives a U.S. passport, which brings along privilege not only when traveling internationally but also locally as one receives treatment like a local inborn citizen. One's children also enjoy the right to citizenship. One can also petition for other family members to gain citizenship. U.S. citizenship affords one the opportunity to be a money recipient for education, especially considering that the United States has the most prominent education system in the world. Gaining citizenship entitles one to educational government-issued grants, which a permanent resident does not enjoy. It does not only apply to government institutions as even private institutions require students to be U.S. citizens before receiving most government scholarships. It is also better to gain citizenship for anyone willing to run for public office as green card holders are ineligible. It is only a citizen of the state who can represent the public and make real change in the country through the sponsoring of beneficial national laws and policies in the Congress. It is better to gain citizenship if one wants to work for the government since most of the best jobs that offer good salaries, fantastic benefits, and incredible pensions in the United States are federal government jobs which are only for U.S. citizens.

Gaining U.S. citizenship comes along with various government benefits (Bessette & Pitney, 2014). For example, one accesses full security benefits, unlike permanent residents who only obtain half of these social security benefits. Citizenship also gives individual eligibility for food stamps and welfare benefits. There is no need of renewing one's green card after gaining citizenship, which permanent residents need to do every ten years. The treatment U.S citizens receive differs from that which permanent residents obtain when it comes to tax and estate ownership. Additionally, full citizenship also provides one with a more secure sense of belonging and affirmation while interacting with the rest of the people. Psychologically, permanent residents and green card holders still know they are profoundly monitored and restricted by the law, which prohibits them to certain mannerisms and behaviors to make friends with the state.

Opposing Viewpoints

Despite the belief that gaining U.S. citizenship has enormous benefits by creating a sense of belonging and attachment, many oppose allowing immigrants to believe they are citizens of the nation without having to work for it (Haley, 2003). Most employers think that it is a challenge dealing with citizens who attained U.S. citizenship. They worry about how to retain an employee who comes at a cost especially if an employee loses his/her work visa. They also have to work towards creating stability for their employees, which can only be achieved through investing more in education and job training. Debate lingers on if most immigrants are usually in the United States illegally, which creates a smooth path for them to gain citizenship. U.S. citizenship, especially for black people, implies exposure to one of the highest racist rates globally. The U.S. is one of the nations where the police mistreat black people and also gun them down like dogs. The degree of mistreatment and shootings of people of color in the U.S. is one of the highest globally. As such, citizenship exposes people of color to the risk of dying at the hands of cruel law enforcers with disregard of the law. Say what you may, such a high police shooting of black is a pointer to racism.

Most people feel that citizenship for such persons amounts to allowing criminals into the nation and they add no value or barely work towards the American dream. The debate further seeks to affirm if illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay. Some argue that allowing them to stay and granting them citizenship is divisive and can cause hostilities between people. The issue is profoundly politicized as political groups say that there should be a way to screen illegal immigrants as most of them meet specific requirements to stay and receive legal U.S. citizenship. Before anyone acquires citizenship, they must first be encouraged to flourish in the society and share the same set of goals as others (Mooney, Knox & Schacht, 2017). Consequently, the government, despite many citizens opposing the issuance of citizenships, believes that citizenship should be allowed as it strengthens the nation by increasing diversity of the population and workforce.


U.S. citizenship is one of the most coveted statuses people labor to gain under U.S. immigration laws. It implies a permanent right to reside in the United States as a citizen. One is never subjected to grounds of deportation that profoundly affect individuals who only live on a green card. Once living in the United States, one should work to gain citizenship as it allows them to vote and the opportunity to petition for a long list of foreign national family members becoming citizens whom one may wish to join him/her, which is an opportunity not permitted to permanent residents. These are only a few of the benefits; others are governmental benefits, international travel benefits, and education benefits. It is, therefore, better for any individual living in the United States to gain U.S. citizenship as opposed to living on a green card or permanent residence.


Bessette, J. M., & Pitney, J. J. (2014). American government and politics: Deliberation, democracy, and citizenship. Belmont: Wadsworth.

Haley, J. (2003). Welfare: Opposing viewpoints. San Deigo, CA: Greenhaven Press.

Kolker, C. (2014). The immigrant advantage: What we can learn from newcomers to America about health, happiness, and hope. New York: Free Press.

Kondo, A. (2001). Citizenship in a global world: Comparing citizenship rights for aliens.Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Mooney, L. A., Knox, D., & Schacht, C. (2017). Understanding social problems. Australia:Cengage Learning.

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