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Quick Guide & Transcript: Thousands march for immigrant rights, U.S. debuts new citizenship test

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(CNN Student News) -- May 2, 2007

Quick Guide

Immigration Nation - Learn about immigration rallies held in cities across the U.S.

New Naturalization Test - Test your U.S. IQ with a new version of the citizenship exam.

Military Goes YouTube - Find out why the U.S. military launched its own YouTube site.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: We're glad you're with us for a new edition of CNN Student News. I'm Monica Lloyd. Demonstrating for a change: Thousands of people make their voices heard as immigration rallies are held around the country. Testing your knowledge: There's a new version of the exam for U.S. citizenship. We'll look at some of the questions on the test. And exercising the veto: The president makes good on his promise and rejects a bill that would've put deadlines on U.S. combat troops to leave Iraq.

First Up: Immigration Nation

LLOYD: First up today, a wave of demonstrations. Immigration reform could be climbing back up the political agenda as Congress is expected to look at it again in a couple of weeks. But on Tuesday, thousands of demonstrators marched in cities across the country, pushing for the U.S. to make the path for illegal immigrants to get their citizenship. Reba Hollingsworth has more on the rallies and the debate over immigration in Washington.


REBA HOLLINGSWORTH, CNN REPORTER: From the nation's capital ...

MARCHERS: Si se puede. Si se puede.

HOLLINGSWORTH: To the West Coast.

MARCHERS: Si se puede. Si se puede.

HOLLINGSWORTH: Thousands of protestors are making their voices heard; pushing for changes in the immigration laws and a fair solution for illegals already in the U.S.

MAN ON THE STREET: I think that our community works hard. Has contributed to society. And I'm tired of feeling like a citizen of second class or a citizen of third class.

HOLLINGSWORTH: In Chicago, a sea of people flooded the streets with a march through downtown.

MAN ON THE STREET: It's everyone's country. It's not just my country or a Mexican's country, or any country -- it's everyone's.

HOLLINGSWORTH: Young, old, some even draped from head to toe in the American flag -- all turned out in huge numbers in Los Angeles, proof that the issue is complicated. This woman says something should be worked out for illegal immigrants that have been in America for a long time. But she says lawmakers still need to:

MAN ON THE STREET: Close the borders and make sure that Americans don't have to foot the bill for the illegal immigration situation that we have here in America.

HOLLINGSWORTH: Whatever your view -- a resounding message:

MAN ON THE STREET: We're not attacking anybody. We're not invading this nation. We just want to live here in peace like everybody else.

HOLLINGSWORTH: Congress will take up the immigration issue later this month. If the reform is not voted on by August, some fear the presidential race will overshadow immigration reform. For CNN Student News, I'm Reba Hollingsworth.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: It's time for the Shoutout! Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? If you think you know it, shout it out! Was it: A) Abraham Lincoln, B) George Washington, C) Thomas Jefferson or D) Francis Scott Key? You've got three seconds -- GO! If you've studied your history, you know Thomas Jefferson penned the famous document. And now you know the answer to one of the questions from the new U.S. naturalization test, the test that you take to become a U.S. citizen. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

New Naturalization Test

LLOYD: You're probably used to taking tests, right? Tests for government, tests for history, tests for English. Well, there's also a test to become a U.S. citizen and it has questions from all of those subjects on it. Richard Roth explains a new version of the citizenship exam and quizzes people on the street to find out how they'd score.


RICHARD ROTH, CNN REPORTER: By day, Rosemarie Lopez is an orthodontist's assistant.

INSTRUCTOR: Rosemarie Lopez?

ROTH: At night, the Guatemalan native is brushing up to become an American citizen.

LOPEZ: What country sold the Louisiana territory to the United States? France.


ROTH: Lopez and her class in Boston are prepping for a new test for immigrants applying to become U.S. citizens.

INSTRUCTOR: So the answers for the colors of the flag: red, white and blue. So please make sure to make the changes, because I saw some answers with yellow and that's not right.

ROTH: The government says the added questions focus on the ideas of democracy and make it more meaningful, questions like "what does freedom of religion mean?"

ALPHONSO AQUILAR, U.S. OFFICE OF CITIZENSHIP, HOMELAND SECURITY DEPT.: We want to use the exam as a tool to encourage civic learning and patriotism.

ROTH: But most of the pilot test still reads like a quiz show. I put some of the same questions to American Citizens on the streets of New York.

ROTH: If the U.S. president can no longer serve, who becomes president?

MAN ON THE STREET: Vice president. Ooh that's a tough question.

ROTH: Who's is the Senate majority leader now?

MAN ON THE STREET: The girl. That's the lady. That's Pelosi, Dianne Pelosi.

ROTH: That's the House, not the Senate, smarty pants.

ROTH: Number 125: What country is on the northern border of the United States?

BOY: Canada.

ROTH: Number 126: Where is the Grand Canyon.

BOY: Uh, Arizona.

ANDREW STENGEL, PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY FOUNDATION: The redesigned test is better suited for "Jeopardy," than for fitness to serve as a citizen. They're asked, "when are your taxes due," but having nothing to do with, no question how to register to vote.

ROTH: What did Susan B. Anthony do?

MAN #1: Suffragist. Susan B. Anthony is a suffragette.

MAN #2: Oh no, she wrote the uh..the uh..

MAN #!: She's a suffragette for women's rights.

MAN #2: No, no. She wrote the Star Spangled Banner.

MAN #1: No she didn't.

ROTH: In order to join these new American citizens, you need to answer six out of ten right, plus a basic English test.

JUDGE: Of the United States of America.

GROUP OF NEW CITIZENS: Of the United States of America.

LOPEZ: I'll be able to call this my country now.

ROTH: Richard Roth, CNN, New York.


Spoken Word

U.S. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The bill would impose impossible conditions on our commanders in combat. After forcing most of our troops to withdraw, the bill would dictate the terms on which the remaining commanders and troops could engage the enemy. That means America's commanders in the middle of a combat zone would have to take fighting directions from politicians 6,000 miles away in Washington, D.C. This is a prescription for chaos and confusion, and we must not impose it on our troops.

Iraq Funding Veto

LLOYD: As you just heard, President Bush followed through on a promise and vetoed a bill that would have set deadlines for troops to leave Iraq. Democratic leaders responded, saying the president has a responsibility to explain his plan for ending the war. This is only the 2nd time in Mr. Bush's presidency that he's vetoed, or rejected, a bill. And now that he has, the focus shifts back to Capitol Hill. For Congress to deny a president's veto, two-thirds of the House and Senate would have to vote to override.

Fast Fasts

AZUZ: Time for some fast facts on presidential vetoes! Among recent presidents, Ronald Reagan just said "no" the most, using the veto 78 times. And the record for the most vetoes ever? That'd be Franklin D. Roosevelt, with 635! Andrew Johnson had more than half of his 29 vetoes overridden by Congress. That's also a record, probably one he didn't brag about. And the longest streak in U.S. history without a presidential veto? Six years and four months, back in the 1800s.

Military Goes YouTube

LLOYD: If you're trying to track down a video, chances are you can find it at YouTube, where users post clips for anyone to see. The U.S. military's taken a cue from the popular site and they've started their own YouTube, and they hope it will offer a new perspective on the war in Iraq. Jamie McIntyre fills us in on the site.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The most watched video on the U.S. military's new YouTube site is last January's pitched battle on Haifa Street. A firefight, well-documented on CNN at the time. But other videos feature views of Iraq the U.S. military says rarely make the news, such as this joyous reunion as American troops rescue a kidnap victim on Baghdad.

MCINTYRE: Unlike many anguished Iraqis often seen on TV, the people in these videos are generally happy! They don't seem to mind being searched. And interact freely with Americans, such as this boy dubbed 'slingshot kid' who gets help from a heavily armed Marine. And here Iraqi Boy Scouts eagerly prepare for an upcoming Jamboree.

The U.S.-lead coalition sponsored "YouTube Channel" was launched two months ago to quote 'give viewers around the world a boots on the ground' perspective, with what are called 'eye catching videos.' Since then, the site has recorded 150,000 hits. It's clearly public relations, but the military insists the clips are edited only for time, security reasons, and for overly disturbing or offensive images.

Still the picture is one-sidedly upbeat: U.S. and Iraqi troops working as a team. Americans rushing to aid victims of a roadside bomb. And some videos are slickly produced promotional spots designed to engender patriotism.

McINTYRE: The U.S. military insists it's not minimizing the bad news, just trying to show the situation in Iraq is more complex. It says events depicted are not staged, and its using the Internet to show that along with the chaos there are good things happening, too. Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.



LLOYD: You know you can watch CNN Student News on your TV or your computer. But you can also carry us in your pocket! Download our podcast at or iTunes, and you can get the news when you're on the go.

Before We Go

LLOYD: Before we go, a traffic jam with some bite. You might expect to get stuck in traffic because of an accident, but a highway in San Antonio, Texas, came to a halt over an alligator. This 8-foot gator sprawled across the pavement and when police tried to coax it off the road, he took a bite out of their bumper! Authorities eventually removed the reptilian obstruction and got drivers back on their way.


LLOYD: And that drives us to the end of today's CNN Student News. Thanks for watching. I'm Monica Lloyd. More Headline News is on the way.


May 2, 2007  (10:05)




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