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Illegal immigrants should not get driver's licenses

Today, on Beacon Hill, a joint hearing will be held on a pair of bills that would clear the way for illegal immigrants in Massachusetts to receive driver’s licenses.

The legislation, filed by two Democratic lawmakers, would green-light licenses for all qualified residents. The thinking behind the bill is that legitimizing drivers would actually make the roads safer for everyone as those drivers would now be on the grid like the rest of us. They would be held to the same standards as anyone else, having to pass tests and get insurance.

This effort is a cynical maneuver that would only go to undermine the rule of law. It will result in an influx of illegal immigrants to the Bay State who will look to use the RMV documentation to begin to obtain legitimacy.

A driver’s license can bridge the gap between undocumented status and the full privileges of citizenship, including voting. It is quite a reward to bestow upon someone who has repeatedly broken the law, in most cases, in establishing an unearned livelihood in this country.

Earlier this year, Gov. Charlie Baker, told the Boston Herald he would “certainly veto” a bill to grant licenses to undocumented immigrants. If it gets that far he must do just that.

This editorial first appeared in the Boston Herald.