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Cardinal Mahony praises decision on Arizona immigration law

July 28, 2010 |  1:04 pm

Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony Credit: Associated Press Cardinal Roger Mahony praised a federal judge's decision Wednesday to block the most controversial elements of Arizona's new immigration law, which would require police to determine the immigration status of people they stop and suspect are in the country illegally.

"I am grateful that U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton ruled today that the most egregious sections of the Arizona Senate Bill 1070 were not allowable under federal law and ordered those halted," Mahony said in a statement.

"Without needed congressional action, local communities and states will continue to propose stopgap measures which do not address all aspects of needed immigration reform,"  he added.

In her 36-page decision, Bolton also forbade Arizona from charging anyone for a new crime for failing to possess immigration documents. She also wrote that the law known as SB 1070 -- which was scheduled to go into effect Thursday-- would have hamstrung the federal government's efforts to enforce immigration law.

"The federal government's ability to enforce its policies and achieve its objectives will be undermined by the state's enforcement of statutes that interfere with federal law," she wrote.

Immigrant rights groups cheered the judge's ruling. But the law's supporters, who contended it was needed to stop illegal immigrants from coming to Arizona, vowed a swift appeal.

Polls have shown that Arizonans overwhelmingly support SB 1070.

-- Carlos Lozano in Los Angeles and Nicholas Riccardi in Phoenix

Photo: Cardinal Roger Mahony. Credit: Associated Press

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