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Arizona's proposed illegal immigration crackdown akin to Nazi tactics, Cardinal Roger Mahony says

April 19, 2010 | 11:03 am

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a5780a86970c-800wiCardinal Roger Mahony blasted Arizona's proposed crackdown on illegal immigration, calling it "the country's most retrogressive, mean-spirited and useless anti-immigrant law."

"American people are fair-minded and respectful. 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," Mahony wrote on his blog.

The Arizona measure, which has yet to be signed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, would require police, if they suspect someone is in the country illegally, to determine the person's immigration status. Currently, officers can ask about someone's immigration status only if the person is a suspect in another crime. Those who can't prove they are in the U.S. legally face misdemeanor charges.

Mahony is a long-time supporter of immigrant rights and has spoken out before on legislation be believes is unfair to immigrants.

"The Arizona legislature just passed the country's most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law," Mahony said on his blog. "The tragedy of the law is its totally flawed reasoning: that immigrants come to our country to rob, plunder and consume public resources. That is not only false, the premise is nonsense."

He added: "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. That's also nonsense."

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Cardinal Roger Mahony. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Related: Times photo gallery on the Arizona immigration fight.