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CSI's citizenship course adjusts to changes made to the naturalization test

Posted at 7:19 PM, Jan 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 09:49:37-05

MAGIC VALLEY, Idaho — Some of the quotes used in this article were translated from Spanish to English by Stephanie Garibay.

Some undocumented people in the U.S. are breathing a sigh of relief after President Joe Biden proposed an eight-year citizenship path. But the naturalization test, one of the most critical tests some people will take in their lives, just got harder to pass.

"The questions went from 100 questions to 128 questions. Previously you had to answer 6 out of 10 questions from that pool of questions, which doubled as of December 1, so now you have to answer 12 of 20 questions," Cesar Perez, an Instructor for the College of Southern Idaho's citizenship course, said.

The College is adjusting to those changes. Their free 12-week course has helped people in the Magic Valley, like Victor Urrutia, become U.S. citizens.

"This course helps us out a lot, especially those of us who don't understand English or also know how to read or write in English," Urrutia said.

CSI offers the citizenship course in both English and Spanish, which will help those going through the process since one of the naturalization tests' changes includes a higher English comprehension level.

"We've had a lot of significant inquiries from the community to be able to tackle these new requirements that have come about," Perez said.

With the changes, CSI also saw an increase in enrollment to the citizenship course. Some students who had already taken the class but have yet to take or pass the naturalization test re-enrolled after the recent changes.

"Our interests have spiked. We've had folks call us, and even on social media, we've had folks send us messages about the opportunity to take these courses and what it takes to be able to do that," Perez said.

Victor says without this course, the path to citizenship would have taken longer for him.

"We probably would have passed it, but not until the second or third try, but thanks to this course, everything went good for me, and I passed the naturalization test on the first try," Urrutia said.

If you or someone you know is interested in taking the CSI citizenship course, you can find more information on their website.