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 immigrants.
The dioceses had pledged to do the fingerprint background checks as a way to prevent pedophiles from working with children. But church leaders said the background checks could prevent illegal immigrants from volunteering, since they lack government-issued photo IDs, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
Instead, volunteer candidates without photo IDs in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are allowed to give a sworn affidavit 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.