Religion and the Arizona Immigration Law

Randall Stephens

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly features a discussion on the Arizona immigration business. Bob Abernethy speaks with Tucson Catholic Bishop Gerald Kicanas. (This makes me wonder about conversations that took place in California in the early 1990s concerning a similar proposed law.)

BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: In Arizona, tough new immigration law is prompting widespread protest from many in the religious community. It requires police in the state to check the status of anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally. To protest it many in the faith community have designated this weekend as a special time for prayer for immigrants. Among those condemning the law are the US Catholic bishops, who have long lobbied for comprehensive immigration reform.

We want to talk now with one bishop on the frontline of the battle. He is Gerald Kicanas, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson Arizona. Bishop, welcome. Several lawsuits were filed this week, more are promised, more are in the works, some of them from clergy. Where does the Church stand on this? Are you going to try to stop this bill, this law?

BISHOP GERALD KICANAS (Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, Arizona): Even the Arizona legislators, Bob, are considering modifications to the bill, which suggests that they themselves are concerned about how it could be misinterpreted. So there will be legal action, certainly, and we’ll monitor that and participate where we feel it would be appropriate.

ABERNETHY: Do you think the church might become a party to the lawsuits to try to stop the bill?

BISHOP KICANAS: I don’t know that we’ll be bringing the lawsuits forward. Those will be brought forward by, certainly, others, but we will review those, and perhaps being a friend of the court where it would be appropriate. >>> read on/watch