- The Washington Times - Monday, June 26, 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Roman Catholic dioceses of Los Angeles and Orange County have backed away from a promise to conduct fingerprint background checks on anyone working with children, saying they don’t want to lose volunteers who are illegal aliens.

The dioceses had pledged to conduct the fingerprint background checks as a way to prevent pedophiles from working with children. But church leaders said the background checks could prevent illegal aliens from volunteering, because they lack government-issued photo IDs, the Los Angeles Times reported last week.

Instead, volunteer candidates without photo IDs in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are allowed to give sworn affidavits stating that they have not been convicted of any crime, officials said. In Orange, they can provide a sworn affidavit and two character reference letters. They’ll be supervised whenever they’re working with children, officials said.

“We are doing this because [aliens] want to participate, they want to serve their church and we want to welcome them,” said Orange County Auxiliary Bishop Jaime Soto.

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