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050 What are two rights only for United States citizens?

50. What are two rights only for United States citizens?
• Apply for a federal job
• Vote
• Run for office
• Carry a U.S. passport

The United States is a land of opportunity, which means that there are a lot of things that people can achieve (or do) if they want to. But some opportunities are reserved (or set aside) only for U.S. citizens. What can citizens do that no one else can? Only U.S. citizens can vote, apply for a federal job, run for office, and carry a U.S. passport.

Only U.S. citizens can vote in city, state, and federal (or national) elections. This is both a right (something that one can do) and a responsibility (something that one should do). Many Americans choose not to vote, but they always have the opportunity to participate in elections if they want to.

U.S. citizens can also apply for federal jobs (or jobs with the national government). These jobs are not available to people who are not U.S. citizens. Sometimes this is because of the risk (or the possibility of something bad happening) of national secrets (or important information other people shouldn’t know about) being given to other countries. Another reason that federal jobs are not available to people who are not U.S. citizens is that Americans want their taxes (or money that they pay to the government) to be used to pay other Americans and not people from other countries.

U.S. citizens may run for office (or try to get elected (or chosen) for a political job by voters). This can be anything from the mayor (or elected leader) of a city to the president of the United States and every job in between. Often there are other requirements to run for office, such as age or residency (or the amount of time that someone has lived in a certain place).

Finally, only U.S. citizens can carry (or have and travel with) a U.S. passport. Not all citizens have a passport. It is a document that we must apply for (or fill out a form to request). But all Americans are entitled (or have the right) to get a passport and travel to other countries. People who are not U.S. citizens, of course, cannot have a U.S. passport.


opportunity – something that a person can be or do if one wants to
* Carlotta had an opportunity to be on the radio, but she was too shy and decided not to do it.

reserved for (something or someone) – set aside for; arranged for the use of something by a specific person or group of people
* I'm sorry, but this table is reserved for someone else. Could you please sit over there instead?

right – the power or ability to do something; a freedom
* What gives you the right to not stand in line and wait like the rest of us?

responsibility – something that one should do; something that one needs to do
* Few people would argue that parents have the responsibility to help their children succeed in life.

risk – the possibility of something bad happening
* There's more risk of losing our money in the stock market than in a bank account.

taxes – money that people and businesses pay to the government so that it can do good things for its citizens
* What percentage of Americans' taxes is used to build new roads?

to run for office – to try to be elected to a public position; to try to get a public job through votes
* Kiki ran for office in 2005, but she didn’t win the election.

mayor – the elected leader of a city or a metropolitan area
* The mayor became very popular after she said that she would punish dishonest city workers.

to apply for something – to fill out a form to request something, often to enter a program or to receive a document
* What documents do I need to bring when I apply for a passport?

entitled – with the right to have or get something; allowed to do something
* With membership in our health club, you’re entitled to use all of the fitness equipment and to sign up for exercise classes.