ho is the president of the United States? Who has the power to declare war? What kind of government does the United States have? To many, these questions are too easy. That's why the U.S. government plans to introduce in 2006 tougher testing in English language and American history for immigrants who seek citizenship. The current testing merely requires immigrants to write one sentence in English and answer one or two questions from a list of 100 on key facts about the U.S. government (click here to see some of the sample questions).

But for many immigrants the current test is not that easy. A study by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that the ability to learn English and assimilate to American culture depends on immigrants’ age at the time they came to the United States. The study's author said that immigrants who came here as teens were likely to arrive without their parents and in search of immediate work and thus were less likely to attend school.

An analysis of US Census figures shows that 84 percent of yellow cab and limousine drivers in New York City are recent immigrants -- up from 64 percent in 1990 and 38 percent in 1980. Most drivers are from the West Indies, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

In this August edition of the citizen, we take a look at a new system to cut waiting time at the immigration agency, a Turkish man running for city council and effort to help boost tourism in Chinatown. Articles from the Chinese, Polish, Spanish and Turkish press, including stories from the Independent Press Association's "Voices That Must Be Heard."

Illegal Vendors
From Sing Tao daily
Police officers from different precincts are joining forces to stop unlicensed vendors from affecting public safety on Canal Street in Chinatown.

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Turkish American Runs for City Council
From Hurriyet
Turkish-American Jack Karako is again making a bid for the City Council after losing the past two elections by a very small margin.

Making Less
From Nowy Dziennik
Many immigrant workers, including those from Poland, have seen no increase in their earnings as the cost of living continues to rise.

Scam Artists
From El Diario
Using religion as a cover for immigration fraud, a man and a woman managed to scam about 40 immigrants.

No More Waiting?
From Gotham Gazette
The US Citzenship and Immigration Services introduced a new system that would allow immigrants to make appointments with the immigrant agency online.

Hate Crimes
From Hoy
The brutal attack of religious leader Rajil Singh Khalsa, argued an Hoy columinist, shows that blatan racism is alive and well in New York.

Explore Chinatown
From The World Journal
A group of organizations have created a new initiative to help revitalize tourism to the Lower Manhattan district.

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