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Cardinal Mahony compares Arizona immigration bill to Nazism, Communism

April 20, 2010

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 Timesnoted that the bill “would not require people to report suspected illegal immigrants to authorities, as [Cardinal] Mahony intimated.”


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  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Apr. 21, 2010 10:17 AM ET USA

    Fr. Patrick Bascio, an author and retired priest of the Holy Ghost Fathers, recently had published On the Immorality of Illegal Immigration, a book that he says has been sent to many bishops to help inform their views. I just purchased it on Amazon.

  • Posted by: Eusebuis1 - Apr. 20, 2010 4:42 PM ET USA

    How I wish the Cardinal Roger Mahony openly expressed the amount of concern for the teen age boys who were sexually abused by his own ordained priests.

  • Posted by: michaelwilmes - Apr. 20, 2010 3:26 PM ET USA

    I'm struggling here. Cardinal Mahoney has no problem crossing the so-called "Church-state" line where immigration is involved, yet somehow when abortion is brought up he is silent. A few years back "Voter's Guides" by orthodox Catholic groups were not allowed to be distributed for fear of the IRS. What gives, Roger?

  • Posted by: adamah - Apr. 20, 2010 2:33 PM ET USA

    At least we only have to deal with him as an active bishop for just a little longer.....

  • Posted by: paul20105493 - Apr. 20, 2010 11:24 AM ET USA

    If Cardinal Mahony is willing to lie (the "...required to turn one another in to the authorities..." comment) about less important temporal matters with which he personally disagrees, how can he be trusted on more important spiritual matters where he personally disagrees?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 20, 2010 10:27 AM ET USA

    I think it is time someone did this. I have no problem with legal immigration. I myself am only a 3rd generation American and I am grateful. But we cannot continue to support illegal immigrants

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Apr. 20, 2010 9:33 AM ET USA

    I believe that most immigrants do NOT come to our country to rob, plunder, and consume public resources, but many ILLEGAL immigrants wind up doing just that. People who consume public resources without contributing to the tax base are a drain on the country. There is a difference between legal and illegal immigration. How is it wrong to stop the latter? Also, left out of this discussion are drugs -- both their consumption by citizens and distribution by illegals. We avoid this to our peril.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Apr. 20, 2010 8:33 AM ET USA

    Cardinal Mahony, what part of teh word "illegal" do you not understand? People who by definition break the laws of our country of which you are citizen are called "illegal." Are you advocating breaking the laws of our nation? If so, why? Are you advocating the dilution of our national sovereignity? If so, why?