The head of the largest Catholic archdiocese in the US has denounced anti-migration policies in the state of Arizona, saying it promotes Nazi-style repression.
“The Arizona legislature just passed the country’s most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law,” Cardinal Roger Mahony wrote in his blog on Sunday.
Mahony was referring to a new Arizona legislation, which created a new state offense of ‘willful failure to carry or complete an alien registration form’. The legislation was passed on Monday.
The bill would also require the police to determine people’s immigration status if there is reason to suspect the legality of the individuals’ stay in the country.
A provision of the law also allows citizens to sue government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws.
“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,” the cardinal who is a staunch supporter of immigrants’ rights said.
“Are children supposed to call 911 because one parent does not have proper papers?” he asked.
The top churchman further added that the “tragedy” of the measure lies in its reasoning, which implies that US immigrants “rob, plunder, and consume public resources.”
The new measure is considered as the latest crackdown in Arizona, which has an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants.