Calling President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration “bigoted and short-sighted,” DLA Piper Professor of Law Michael Meyerson said in a Baltimore Sun op-ed that the order violates the principles of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution.
In “Framers wouldn’t stand for Trump’s anti-Muslim immigration ban” (Feb. 8), Meyerson said that Trump would effectively impose a “religious test” on would-be immigrants — a notion long discredited in the United States.
Wrote Meyerson: “The framers explained that forcing individuals to declare their religious beliefs inevitably resulted in governmental oppression. Samuel Spencer of North Carolina declared that religious tests were ‘the foundation of persecutions in all countries.’ In Massachusetts, Isaac Backus stated that ‘the imposing of religious tests hath been the greatest engine of tyranny in the world.’
“Those who fought for America’s religious liberty considered this freedom so important it was to be protected not only for those who were already residents of this country, but for those who sought entry to this land,” Meyerson continued. “George Washington fervently believed that this new nation should serve as a refuge for people of every faith. ‘The bosom of America is open,’ he wrote in 1783, ‘to receive the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct, they appear to merit the enjoyment.'”