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Courses - Fall 2023
MPower Undergraduate Law Programs
Citizenship and Naturalization in America
Credits: 2
Grad Meth: Reg
Restriction: Must be in the Law and Society minor (MLAW); or must be in College Park Scholars Justice and Legal Thought (CPJT).
Notions of who is an American - and who is not - are deeply rooted in the American ethos. Although the United States has long been praised for its inclusiveness vis-a-vis citizenship - including a policy of jus soli, or birthright citizenship - a closer look reveals a difficult history involving the categorical exclusion of many groups from American citizenship. We will examine this history, focusing particularly on Black and Native Americans and immigrants, and drawing upon legal cases, historical texts, and personal narratives detailing the lived experiences of those seeking American citizenship. We will trace this history to the present and explore the current process and requirements for becoming an American citizen. Students will have an opportunity to engage guests and discussions from the Maryland Carey School of Law and other experts.