May 20, 2007


Do you have what it takes to become a citizen? (MSNBC)

When immigrants want to become Americans, they must take a civics test as part of their naturalization interview before a Citizenship and Immigration Services officer. The questions are usually selected from a list of 100 sample questions (see at ) that prospective citizens can look at ahead of the interview (though the examiner is not limited to those questions). Some are easy, some are not.
We have picked some of the more difficult ones.

Should you be welcomed immediately to the Land of the Free or sent home for some more homework? Find out!

(PLEASE NOTE: These questions are as asked on the official United States Immigration and Naturalization Services Web site. Candidates are not given multiple choices in the naturalization interview, which is conducted orally.)

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 20, 2007 7:43 AM

Well, I got 19 out of 20. I missed the question about which Amendment NOT involving voting rights, and I guessed right on the question about which form addressed naturalization.

I don't know the whole scope of the questions, but are there any on the Civil War or the structure of the judiciary?

Posted by: ratbert at May 20, 2007 10:08 AM

I assume that the headline means that we achieved the same result: 95%, all good except the immigration form number.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 20, 2007 10:08 AM

95% I missed the INS form question.

Posted by: Pete at May 20, 2007 10:12 AM

me too.

Posted by: erp at May 20, 2007 10:21 AM

80% correct - and I have never set foot in the US. Not bad, eh? What do you say now? Can I come over and vote now or what?

Posted by: wf at May 20, 2007 11:17 AM

"You answered 95% of questions correctly".

I missed the INS question too.

Posted by: Bonzo at May 20, 2007 12:14 PM

The first part of the test is sneaking into the country. If you don't have the gumption to you aren't an American.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2007 12:49 PM

OJ: Er, I'd point out that the terrorist gentlemen planning to attack Fort Dix did "have the gumption" to sneak into our country, but clearly failed the rest of the test. Also, legal immigrants avoid sneaking into the country. Which suggests that "sneaking into the country" either ought not to be considered part of the test, as it does not indicate whether or not the sneaker is being "American" or not, or should be given negative points before they even receive the written portion.

Posted by: Just John at May 20, 2007 1:26 PM

Just John: watch it, you are about to be branded a "racist wacko" for questioning our excellent immigration/amnesty policy.

Since I have already been so-branded, let me one-up you. With our missile defense shield neutering the Soviets. What shouldn't they have the "gumption" to smuggle a dozen briefcase nukes across our open borders and just leave them waiting in our biggest cities in the event we try to flex our muscles in, say, Estonia or the any of the former Soviet Stans. Isn't that an excellent immigrant workaround to our arrogant missile defense?

Posted by: Palmcroft at May 20, 2007 3:28 PM

Sneak may not be the best word. If you really want to be an American, and by your seemingly sarcastic comment, I doubt you do, you will get here anyway you can and when you get here, you will take advantage of every opportunity to become one of us. Passing the citizenship test is the finale, not the entrance exam.

Posted by: erp at May 20, 2007 3:34 PM


Then they failed the second part. Lots of natives do too.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2007 4:47 PM


You think immigration enforcement is going to stop suitcase nukes? That one's too inane for words.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2007 5:15 PM

I got 90%. I missed the ridiculous question about the citizenship form and the tricky one about who appoints Supreme Court justices.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 20, 2007 5:19 PM


It could, potentially. Terrorists are stupid.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 20, 2007 5:21 PM


To echo Matt, it stopped the guy who wanted to blow up part of LAX (or whatever he was dreaming of destroying).

Al Qaeda (and all its ilk) are pretty low-brow, as we routinely discuss here. They are nothing like the fictional suave masterminds we see on TV.

Posted by: ratbert at May 20, 2007 5:55 PM

No such thing as a suitcase nuke. The smallest nukes ever made were the "Davy Crockett" recoil-less rifle warheads. They won't fit in a suitcase, unless your suitcase is shaped like a big bomb. Although your basic point is valid.

Posted by: lebeaux at May 20, 2007 6:38 PM

100 percent. I guessed correctly on the voting rights/amendments one. With the INS form, the answer was in the question. Only one of the forms was labeled an "application," and it was the correct one.

Posted by: ted welter at May 20, 2007 8:44 PM

Yes, they could also drown trying to swim the Rio Grande. You don't make a self-destructive national policy upon the basis of a potential random success surrounded by certain futilities.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2007 9:47 PM

Swim the Rio Grande?

GW will make it dry.

I think I found the answer to the problem, no more, the world doesn't want us expanding our carbon footprint.


Jaime P. Martinez preached from the podium of a small chapel at Primera Baptist Church flanked by U.S. and Mexican flags, his message one of defiance — not of turning the other cheek.

"We must not sell out, and we must fight for the rights of our people that have been here!" he shouted, a crowd of 50 or so cheering and applauding as the short speech closed. "This is our land and we're going to fight for just and humane comprehensive immigration reform!" ..

Preach it hermano!

But the best part is this:

...Echoing Martinez, who told the crowd, "We did not cross the border, the border crossed us," Diaz, a 50-year-old self-employed San Antonio contractor, said Mexicans have an absolute right to live in the United States — either as residents or citizens. U.S. residents, he said, had the same right to live in Mexico.

"The only borders that we used to recognize are the natural borders of rivers, mountains, lakes, deserts, not these international boundaries that this colonial government has set up by dividing our land," he said."

Someone hasn't read the Mexican Constitution, I see. We had MC surrounded, we should have kept it.

Posted by: Sandy P at May 20, 2007 11:38 PM

-1, missed the amendment.

Posted by: Sandy P at May 20, 2007 11:39 PM

If he only recognizes natural borders, what's the Rio Grande?

Posted by: Sandy P at May 20, 2007 11:40 PM

Yes, we should just merge with Mexico. That's the easiest way to remove the legality canard.

Posted by: oj at May 21, 2007 6:24 AM