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Cardinal Mahony steps up attack on Arizona immigration crackdown

May 2, 2010 |  8:38 am


Cardinal Roger Mahony, an outspoken critic of the Arizona crackdown on illegal immigrants, had a message for Arizona officials.

"Thank you, Arizona," he said Saturday during a May Day rally in downtown Los Angeles. "Thank you, Arizona."

Mahony has emerged as one of the leading voices against the new law. Two weeks ago, he compared Arizona with Nazi Germany after the state passed a strict new law that allowed police to check the legal status of anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant.

But Mahony said the Arizona legislation might turn out to be a net positive, hastening the passage of federal immigration reform. It also gives the Catholic church the chance to "continue our outreach," Mahony said, "an important part of moving on" after sexual-abuse allegations against priests.

Mahony called the Arizona legislation unconstitutional. He also challenged Gov. Jan Brewer to release a set of clear criteria defining what constitutes "reasonable suspicion" that an individual might be undocumented.

"They can't," he said. "Because you'd come up with ‘brown skin, black hair and listens to ranchera music.' "

Read more on the story at the Los Angeles Times.

-- Robert Faturechi

Photo: Mahony at Saturday's rally in downtown Los Angeles in response to Arizona's illegal-immigrant law. Credit: Los Angeles Times