American Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities Listed in a 1955 Brochure

Meaning of our Constitutional Republic has been lost in the leftist narrative swamp of their brand of democracy, complaining about our outdated founding documents that must be replaced by their woke ideals of Marxism and collectivi


One of the proud moments in my life was the day when I became a naturalized American citizen, following a long journey of four years which included tons of paperwork, interviews, expensive fees I could barely afford, and many trips to the Immigration office at a time when I was a mom, a wife, a daughter, and a student.

I was not lucky to be born in the United States, but I became a naturalized American as soon as the authorities allowed a legal immigrant from a communist country to become one. I was properly vetted, vaccinated, employed, checked for communicable diseases, studied America’s history, its founding documents, and underwent at least three hours of interrogation to make sure that I was not a communist. It was a bit strange, I admit, since I fled communism.

Today the meaning of our Constitutional Republic has been lost in the leftist narrative swamp

Things have changed since I became a citizen. Immigration laws are no longer respected or followed, politicians keep telling us that laws are “broken,” winking to each other, allowing any flotsam and jetsam of the third world to walk unimpeded across the southern border, and thousands and thousands are flown and dropped into small, conservative communities in the dead of night, carrying U.S. or U.N. debit cards, Medicaid insurance cards, and brand-new cell phones. American citizens are even asked to donate as much as they can for the settlement and care of unvetted and unvaccinated illegals dropped overnight into their midst to increase the voting rolls for the Democrat Party.

A naturalization brochure from 1955 came across my desk recently. Published in 1955 as document M-76 by the Department of Justice, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, it is titled “Welcome to the New Citizen on the occasion of Naturalization.”

Printed in blue are the words to The Star-Spangled Banner, written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, a Baltimore lawyer, during the bombardment of Fort McHenry and adopted by Congress as the National Anthem in 1931.

Today, the woke leftist America objects to our National Anthem as an outdated, bellicose statement. They are trying to change it to reflect their values, just as they are changing everything else remotely connected to our history that offends them. The easily triggered left is running the country into the ground and destroying our history, replacing it with their manufactured version of past events and persons.

The 1955 brochure also contains a brief congratulatory letter from President Dwight D. Eisenhower who welcomed the new citizens “to a new way of life with rights and privileges, blessings which include a solemn responsibility – the duty to help maintain and advance the principles and ideals upon which our Republic was founded and built.”

Today the meaning of our Constitutional Republic has been lost in the leftist narrative swamp of their brand of democracy, complaining about our “outdated” founding documents that must be replaced by their woke ideals of Marxism and collectivism.

The 1955 brochure contains the words to America’s Creed. William Tyler Page, the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote America’s Creed in 1917 which was accepted by the House on behalf of the American People on April 3, 1918.

“I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the People, by the People, for the People, whose just powers are derived from the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign nation of many sovereign states; a perfect union, one and inseparable, established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.”

William Tyler Page would be saddened by the state of politics today as American citizens are being governed by a political class so powerful that their powers are no longer derived from the governed. He would be disappointed to see what is happening to our country’s sovereignty on the southern border which is overrun by millions of illegals from around the world, breaking our laws and signing up for welfare and the voting rolls.

None of our founding documents mention the latest leftist buzzword, “equity,” equality of outcomes, the latest demands from the American Marxist contingent.

The founding documents of our country are written in cursive handwriting which is no longer taught in schools. American students cannot read their country’s original founding documents anymore. The decision to stop teaching cursive handwriting came from educators in America and around the world, even though research has proven that cursive handwriting develops certain parts of the brain, enabling memory and further learning. Frontiers | The Importance of Cursive Handwriting Over Typewriting for Learning in the Classroom: A High-Density EEG Study of 12-Year-Old Children and Young Adults | Psychology (frontiersin.org)

J. M Swing, Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, wrote in the 1955 brochure about the Meaning of American Citizenship:

“Today you have become a citizen of the United States of America. You are no longer an Englishman, a Frenchman, an Italian, a Pole. Neither are you a hyphenated-American – a Polish-American, an Italian-American. You are no longer a subject of the government. Henceforth, you are an integral part of this Government – a freeman – a Citizen of the United States of America.”

J. M. Swing might also be disappointed to see that in 2022, American citizens who were lucky to have been born on American soil, have become strongly hyphenated, polarized, and divided by skin color and ethnicity, and have become subjects of their powerful governments.

Frances Cavanah and Lloyd E. Smith outlined the rights and privileges of an American citizen in the same 1955 immigration brochure:


  1. Think freely as a unique person. Today unfortunately “groupthink” is highly encouraged in the main stream media. In the vein of collectivism, uniqueness is seen as selfish and undemocratic.
  2. I may speak or write as I please if it does not interfere with the rights of others. Today you may speak and write if the left allows you a venue in the mass media, and the technocracy elites allow you to be seen or heard on social media platforms.
  3. Exercise the right to vote. You vote but, as soon as you leave the voting booth, your vote may be nullified by a person voting illegally.
  4. I have the right to choose my work. You may choose your work today if your views and resume are acceptable to those doing the hiring.
  5. I have the right to improve myself through hard work and education. Higher education today has become a joke as universities are now bastions of leftist Marxist groupthink. No diverse thinkers need apply and no divergent opinions are allowed.
  6. I have the right to a prompt trial by jury if I should be accused of a crime. I wonder if those labeled “insurrectionists” have had their days in court yet.
  7. I have equal rights with others when seeking justice in the courts. Do we really have equal rights today in the courts?
  8. I can share in the benefits of many natural resources of my country.
  9. I can educate my children in free schools. They are tuition-free for those who do not pay property taxes which fund public schools. Schools and universities are controlled by a leftist cabal of teachers, administrators, and professors indoctrinated in America’s colleges of education and now even colleges of arts and sciences.
  10. I have the right to worship in the religion of my choice. La Ministre norvégienne du développement international et le Président du FIDA se rendront au Malawi, ravagé par des tempêtes tropicales.of my choice. Have you really been free to worship in church in the last two years during the forced lockdowns? How many churches and priests were fined and arrested for holding church services?
  11. I have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We can hope and pray for this right, but we have had a lot of unhappy, broke, and bankrupt Americans in the last two years, unable to pursue their dreams due to government lockdowns and unconstitutional mandates. We have experienced at the hands of our federal, state, and local governments, home detention, forced masking, vaccine mandates, election fraud, food and necessities shortages, supply chain disruptions, school closures for extended periods of time, censorship, and forced small businesses and church closures.

The duties of an American citizen were outlined in the 1955 brochure as follows:

  1. Obey the country’s laws. Currently, the socialist Democrats only obey the laws they like and approve of. The rest of us obey the laws.
  2. It is our duty to vote so that our government may truly represent the will of the people. Unfortunately, the leftist wing that runs big cities allows illegal citizens of other countries to vote thus diluting and destroying the votes and the will of the rest of the American voters.
  3. Keep informed on the honesty and ability of candidates for public office. It makes no difference that we know how dishonest some candidates and politicians are, they suffer no consequences, and they are well-funded by donations from the leftist elites who run the country.
  4. Correct injustice through voting. Seldom injustices are corrected through voting anymore since the advent of the electronic voting system which is easy to manipulate and hack.
  5. Pay taxes. The middle class is heavily taxed and so are individuals in the upper class. The rest have little skin in the taxation game.
  6. Serve on juries when called upon.
  7. Hold a public office for the efficient functioning of government. Is our government truly functioning efficiently when you look at the trillions of dollars in debt that has been accumulated in the last five years?
  8. Defend our country if necessary.
  9. Unite in times of crisis and support our government.
  10. Respect our national flag. How many Americans have desecrated our flag, burned it, stepped on it, and destroyed it? How many Americans were forbidden to fly the American flag and were fined by homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and municipalities under the excuse that it offended others?
    The goals listed in the citizenship brochure from 67 years ago are majestic and admirable. We should all strive to be better citizens, whether natural born or naturalized.

Those of us, who were not lucky to be born in this country but were lucky enough to be able to immigrate here legally, support this country and its opportunity to succeed guaranteed to everyone. We do not support the woke equality of outcomes. The collectivist idea of “equity” has never worked, and it is never going to work except by coercion and oppression.

To me, my naturalized citizenship carries with it the highest privilege and the highest responsibility to conduct the oath taken on the day when I became a proud American. Freedom is never free, and we must cherish it and protect it from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh — Bio and Archives

Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh, Ileana Writes is a freelance writer, author, radio commentator, and speaker. Her books, “# of Communism”, “Liberty on Life Support” and “U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy,” “Communism 2.0: 25 Years Later” are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

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