The Constitution places no ban on religious tests for immigrants
There’s been a lot of blather about how the Constitution disallows any religious test for those who wish to immigrate to the United States. But as Andrew McCarthy points out in a recent piece at NRO, no such ban is written anywhere in the Constitution.
The clause said to be the source of this drivel is found in Article VI. As you’ll no doubt be shocked to learn, it has utterly nothing to do with immigration. The clause states, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States” (emphasis added). On its face, the provision is not only inapplicable to immigrants at large, let alone aliens who would like to be immigrants; it does not even apply to the general public. It is strictly limited to public officials — specifically to their fitness to serve in government positions.
This is equally clear from the clause’s context. Right before the “no religious Test” directive, Article VI decrees that elected and appointed officials “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution[.]” An oath of office customarily requires the official to “solemnly swear” that he or she will support and defend the Constitution, “so help me God.” (See, e.g., the oath prescribed by federal law.) The Framers tacked on the “no religious test” clause to clarify that the mandate of a solemn oath before taking office did not mean fidelity to a particular religious creed was required. The same principle informs the First Amendment’s prohibition on the establishment of a state religion.
Last year, McCarthy wrote an equally illuminating piece where he explained that not only is there no constitutional ban on a religious test, but federal law can require such a test because in order to be officially recognized as a “refugee,” persecution must be established. And said persecution may be based on religion.
If we followed our laws, we would not be accepting “Syrian refugees” (who are, at best, the victims of a civil war) and would instead be accepting Christians in the Middle East who are being persecuted because of their faith.
Lies are dangerous things. In this case, a narrative is being advanced that misleads the public as to the truth about our laws while an inverted immigration policy is advanced that puts America at risk and enables the jihadist slaughter of Christians.
Hat tip: Breitbart