Opportunity to comment at USCIS
my idea on language access and the N-400
The questions on the application for citizenship involve difficult vocabulary for limited English speakers. Words like militia, totalitarian, persecuted, and drunkard are likely to be unfamiliar to many immigrants. It is critical that applicants for citizenship answer the questions truthfully, but difficult for them to do so when they don't entirely understand what they are being asked. Although the form must be submitted in English, there is every reason for USCIS to assist applicants by providing a translated list of questions (especially in part 12) as a guide--not only for filling out the form, but for preparing for the interview where these questions will be asked orally. It would benefit USCIS to get accurate answers to questions, and promote naturalization by making the application/interview process less formidable to immigrants.