Choose Edition
Connect
Choose Edition
Tamaño letra

Would Donald Trump pass the US citizenship test?

Democrats have challenged the Republican candidate to sit a naturalization exam

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday giving a speech in Ohio
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday giving a speech in Ohio AP

Donald Trump has announced that, if he wins the White House in November, he will require “extreme vetting” of individuals who want to enter the United States, including an “ideological test” to find out whether they share American values – or whatever Donald Trump understands by American values.

“Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country,” Trump said on Monday in Youngstown, Ohio.

Analysts have discredited this latest proposal as another step in his anti-Muslim strategy after he said he would ban Muslim individuals from entering the United States as part of his battle plan against the Islamic State (ISIS).

“It's a test he’d fail,” Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday via Twitter. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, went further and challenged Trump to take the US naturalization test, the exam every foreign national who applies for American citizenship must pass.

“Since Donald Trump wants to impose new tests on immigrants, he should take the one test every immigrant has to pass to become a United States citizen,” the Nevada senator said.

Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim soldier who died in Iraq, has become a kind of bête noire for Trump. Khan has offered to take the test along with him.

“I challenge Trump to take the naturalization test with me any day,” Khan told The Huffington Post via email. He and his wife, Ghazala, became the surprise stars at the Democratic National Convention in late July when they took the stage to speak about their son, Captain Humayun Khan, and the many Muslim American citizens who are willing to give their lives for their country.

Khan father accused Trump of not having sacrificed anything for the country he hopes to lead. He took out a copy of the Constitution from his pocket and asked: “Have you even read the US Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.” Trump’s verbal attacks on the Khan family provoked strong rebuke from the military community – for whom fallen soldiers and their families are sacred – and his popularity ratings have been dropping since then.

Have you even read the US Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy

Khizr Khan

The Khans are originally from Pakistan. They became American citizens in 1980 after taking the naturalization exam.

There are 100 possible civics questions on the test. Topics range from history and government to geography. During the naturalization interview, the applicant is asked up to 10 questions in English. He must answer correctly six of the 10 questions in order to pass the exam.

These are some of the questions (with answers) Trump might have to respond to if he accepts the challenge:

  • What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment? Speech, religion, assembly, press or petition the government.
  • What is freedom of religion? You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.
  • We elect a US Senator for how many years? Six.
  • If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President? The Speaker of the House.
  • Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Jefferson.
  • What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803? Louisiana.
  • What did Susan B. Anthony do? Fought for women’s rights and fought for civil rights.
  • Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in? World War II.
  • Why does the flag have 13 stripes? Because there were 13 original colonies.

Senator Reid, President Barack Obama’s right hand in Congress, said [Trump] would almost certainly fail, given his general ignorance and weak grasp of basic facts about American history, principles and functioning of our government.”

The Republican candidate has not yet responded to the challenge.

English version by Dyane Jean François.

Sign up for our newsletter

EL PAÍS English Edition has launched a weekly newsletter. Sign up today to receive a selection of our best stories in your inbox every Saturday morning. For full details about how to subscribe, click here

More information