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My Fellow Americans…

 

 

We’ve been reading a lot in the news lately about immigration issues.

 

I was born an American (right place, right time, I guess) with 70% of my heritage being non-native (Welsh and Italian, mostly.)

 

Lately, I’ve been wondering…when I wave my flag, pledge my allegiance, and sing my anthem…have I earned that right? Does the luck of the draw (ie: sperm and egg connecting in the western hemisphere) give me some inalienable right to call myself an American, when others have to prove themselves for that right?

 

Does it give my daughter that right?

 

When immigrants want to become Americans, they must take a civics test as part of their naturalization interview before a Citizenship and Immigration Services (INS) officer.

 

The questions are usually selected from a list of 100 sample questions 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.

 

Here are some of the more difficult ones…

 

(BTW, Candidates seeking citizenship are not given multiple choices in the naturalization interview, and it’s conducted orally.)

 

 1. How many stripes are there on the U.S. flag?

 10 

 13  

 50 

 51 

 

 2. Who is the chief justice of the Supreme Court today? 

 George W. Bush  

 Alberto Gonzales  

 Thomas Jefferson  

 John G. Roberts Jr.  

 

 3. In what year was the Constitution written?  

 1776  

 1787  

 1876  

 1812  

 

 4. Which of these is guaranteed by the First Amendment?  

 Freedom of the press  

 Right to bear arms  

 Right to happiness  

 Right to trial by jury  

 

  

5. How many Supreme Court justices are there?  

3 

9 

10  

13  

 

 6. What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called?  

 The Preamble  

 The Bill of Rights  

 First Ten Amendments  

 Lewis “Scooter” Libby 

 

 7. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?  

 July 4, 1776  

 July 4, 1787  

 July 4, 1812  

 July 4, 1876  

 

 8. Which of the following amendments to the Constitution does NOT address or guarantee voting rights?

19th Amendment  

24th Amendment  

15th Amendment  

7th Amendment  

 

 9. What are the 13 original states? 

Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Zealand, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Rhode Island, Maryland  

 

Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Rhode Island, Maryland  

 

Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Rhode Island, Maryland  

 

Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Washington, D.C.  

 

10. What do the stripes on the U.S. flag mean?  

 The Cabinet  

 One for each state in the Union  

 They represent the 13 original states 

 One for each article of the Constitution  

 

11. What is the introduction to the Constitution called?  

 The Preamble  

 The Bill of Rights  

 The Declaration of Independence  

 The Articles of Confederation 

 

12. How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution? 

9  

10  

13  

27 

 

13. Which of the following is NOT one of the constitutional requirements to be eligible to become president?  

Must be at least 35 years old by the time he/she will serve  

Must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years  

Must be a natural-born citizen of the United States 

Must have served as a governor  

 

14. Who selects the Supreme Court justices?  

The Electoral College  

The people  

They are appointed by the president 

The Senate  

 

15. How many representatives are there in Congress?  

 50  

 100  

 102  

 435  

 

16. Who said, “Give me liberty or give me death”?  

George Washington  

Benjamin Franklin  

Thomas Jefferson  

Patrick Henry  

 

17. Why did the Pilgrims come to America?  

In search of gold  

To meet the Indians  

For religious freedom  

To escape the Revolutionary War 

 

 18. Who has the power to declare war?  

 Congress 

 The president  

 Chief justice of the Supreme Court 

 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 

 

 19. What INS form is used to apply to become a naturalized citizen?

Form N-200 “Petition for Naturalization” 

N-400 “Application for Naturalization” 

Social Security card  

FD-258 

 

 20. Which of these contains three rights or freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights?  

 Right to life, right to liberty, right to the pursuit of happiness 

 Freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion 

 Right to protest, right to protection under the law, freedom of religion  

 Freedom of religion, right to elect representatives, human rights

 

So, jot down your answers or, if you’re really brave, post them below (please don’t Google your answers, that’s not allowed to those seeking citizenship, so it’s not allowed here either…)

 

I’ll post the answers in a couple of days.

 

FYI…I consider myself a patriot, and pretty well read. I answered only 70% of questions correctly. I would not have passed the test for citizenship (85% is required.)

 

But, my daughter will.

 

-Perk

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2 thoughts on “My Fellow Americans…

  1. I would have to spend some time studying for that. There was only about half of them that I knew for sure I knew the answer to.

    I was discussing this topic yesterday and somebody had what I thought was an excellent suggestion. The french foreign legion was France’s answer to this issue hundreds of years ago. I don’t think serving in the military should be the only way to become a citizen. But the US has charity projects in most countries of the world. So I think there could be multiple ways to serve. But a term of service which included learning the language would be an excellent path to citizenship. Sending foreigners trained to serve in the military would also answer some of the issues with the “war.”

  2. How interesting. In the decades we were in school it was presented as a “right” to be American.
    While alot of this was taught- I have no recollection of process of citizenship. And I am only the second generation born in the US. That was a question I never posed to my grandparents…Man – I wish they were alive today to ask!
    I had a co-worker from Russia and while they have been here for over two decades it still is not something talked about.
    Wow!
    Again Perry -jolts me out of my complacency. Oh, what we need to teach our children!

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