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Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Obedience to the law is demanded as a right, not asked as a favor.” Traditionally, those who uphold the law receive benefits, while those who skirt it do not. House Bill 267 in Kentucky, however, aims to undermine the law while rewarding those who have not abided by it. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Larry Clark, would make driving certificates available to undocumented immigrants who have resided in the state for three years. Those older than 21 would drive on an instructional permit for 30 days, and those younger than 21 would use the permit for 180 days.

Despite arguments that the bill would improve safety on Kentucky's roadways, it essentially amounts to rewarding those who break immigration laws. The most basic principle of immigration law is to discourage people from entering the country illegally. A law which removes one of the restrictions placed upon illegal immigrants flies in the face of establishing immigration law in the first place. Good intentions can sometimes make for bad policy, and House Bill 76 will do no favors in strengthening Kentucky's immigration laws if it is passed into law. It will reduce obedience to the law from a right to a favor.

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center