What Happens When People Born In The USA Try The Same Test As People Who Want To Become Citizens

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Anybody who wades through the process of becoming an American citizen has to pass an oral test by correctly answering 6 of 10 randomly selected questions out of 100. 91% of immigrants who take this test pass it. But when you ask everyday American-born citizens those questions, how does it go? Ahem ...

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Hi, I'm Daniel Hernandez here with the Immigrant Archive Project. As some of you may know, in order to become a citizen of the United States, you have to pass a naturalization test. Part of the test is answering ten questions out of a pool of 100. You have to answer six of the questions correctly to earn your citizenship. Now, what we're going to do today is go out on to the streets of Miami to find out if some born and bred Americans can answer correctly some of the same questions that we ask our immigrant hopefuls. This should be fun. Let's go.

And can you tell me who the Vice President of the United States is?


Nope. All right.

Um, crap. [laughs]

Who's the Vice President of the United States?

Um, I can't remember.

What's his name?

I don't know that.

I ain't know that.

All right.

Vice president, isn't that our boy, Biden?

It is our boy, Biden.

Our boy, Biden, holds it down, yeah.

How many amendments does the Constitution have?

Oh, it's a lot now. I don't know.


Shoot. 20, 25?

Hm. [cricket chirping]

Could you tell me how many amendments there are in the Constitution?

Um, no sir, I can't.

Um, I'd say about 16.


All right, so either way I was low-ballin'.


If this was the Price is Right I would've been done.

Can you tell me how many Justices there are in the Supreme Court?

Hm, no I can't.

Oh, no.

How many Justices there are?

Is it twelve? Ten?

No, you're thinking Twelve Angry Men the movie.

Six? Seven.




What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?

Couldn't tell you.

It's not Puerto Rico.

Can I phone a friend?




Um, is it the Statue of Liberty?

No. That was a gift.

That was a gift.

I dunno.

Oh, um, is it Hawaii?

Um, was that involving the Louisiana Purchase?

That's right.

That was. Okay.

Can you tell me what Susan B. Anthony did?


She was the one that did the first flag, right?

Didn't she make the flag?

She made the American flag.


[indistinct] Woman's rights up in Seneca Falls, New York?

Who was the President during World War I?


Dammit. Um, I have no idea.

Oh, god.

I don't know.

Okay. It's fine.

Is it Kennedy?

It's not Kennedy. Not at all.

Um, it's George, wasn't it? Washington?



You wanna hit it again?

No, not really.

Woodrow Wilson.

Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

Um, ah, I feel so dumb.

I know who signed it first, but, ugh!

Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, I don't know.

I should know this.

George Washington?

He signed it. Who wrote it?

You're naming every guy that's signed it.

Oh, who wrote it?

Who wrote it, who wrote it?

Man, I wouldn't pass this test, would I?

He's on a bill, he's on a bill.

I'm just going to go ahead and guess like, Thomas Jefferson? No?

It's a good guess. It's a right guess, too.

Oh, yes.

It's the right guess, it's the right guess.

Can you tell me when the Constitution was written?

Um . . .

Why am I supposed to know that, man?







ish? '73?

Uh, shoot. 19, 1840? [laughs]

1787, 1787.


There may be small errors in this transcript.

This video was made by the Immigrant Archive Project, which is also on Facebook.


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