U.S. Law Center

What are my rights & responsibilities as a U.S. citizen?

Immigrants are an essential part of the history of the United States and have been since its founding. As a new citizen, it's crucial that you understand what is expected of you, as well as which rights you're afforded. The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services explains the rights and responsibilities of all those who call America their home. 

All Americans are afforded certain rights that can't be taken away by anyone, including the freedom to worship as you see fit. Many people flee their home countries as a result of religious persecution, which can be life-threatening in some cases. You're also allowed freedom expression. Barring language that causes harm to others, you can freely express yourself without worry about incarceration or persecution. Citizens enjoy many other rights as well, including the right to a fair jury trial, the right to run for office, and the right to vote. 

Of course, with rights comes many responsibilities. You should take an interest in the community you live in and speak up to the local authorities whenever you see crimes or wrongdoing. You must also remit income taxes to the proper authorities as guided by prevailing tax laws. While you are free to hold certain beliefs, you must also respect the belief systems and expressions of others. 

Being a law-abiding citizen is of the utmost importance. Criminal wrongdoing impacts all of society in a multitude of ways and citizens are responsible for upholding state, federal, and local laws at all times. If you're asked to serve on a jury, you must honor the request and follow the rules provided. You should also take the time to research candidates running for office and vote for those you believe have the best interests of the country in mind. 

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