20-April-2010 -- Catholic World News Brief |

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Cardinal Mahony Compares Arizona Immigration Bill To Nazism, Communism

APRIL 20 (Catholic World News) -- Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles has offered strong criticism of a measure passed by the Arizona legislature that would require police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants who are unable to provide documentation. The bill, if signed into law, would also make it illegal to hire day laborers off the street and to transport an illegal immigrant.

"The Arizona legislature just passed the country's most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law [SB 1070, awaiting the expected signature of Gov. Jan Brewer]," Cardinal Mahony wrote on April 18. "The tragedy of the law is its totally flawed reasoning: that immigrants come to our country to rob, plunder, and consume public resources."

"The law is wrongly assuming that Arizona residents, including local law enforcement personnel, will now shift their total attention to guessing which Latino-looking or foreign-looking person may or may not have proper documents," he added. "I can't imagine Arizonans now reverting to German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques whereby people are required to turn one another in to the authorities on any suspicion of documentation."

Although the measure would require police to ask for documents if there is a "reasonable suspicion" that a person is an illegal immigrant, The Los Angeles Times noted that the bill "would not require people to report suspected illegal immigrants to authorities, as [Cardinal] Mahony intimated."

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