Opinion

Commentary: The death of Kentucky's illegal immigration bill

As the General Assembly burned up taxpayer dollars wrangling over a difficult budget, we can be thankful one measure that would have been both expensive and damaging to the state didn't get much traction in this year's session.

Senate Bill 6 died under the weight of its own meanness and irrationality, after citizens protested loud and long to make that clear to lawmakers.

The bill, a copycat of legislation passed in Arizona last year, called for illegal aliens to be found guilty of trespassing simply for being in Kentucky.

Thousands of Kentuckians pointed out that such a law, if enforced, would pack the state's prisons at great cost with people who would ordinarily be working, supporting their families, paying taxes and generally contributing to the economy.

The Department of Corrections, which knows all too well what it costs to lock up people, said the fiscal impact of the bill would be "significant."

Now, Arizona is realizing the error of its ways. Last week, the Republican-controlled Senate, which gave rise to the original bill, rejected five anti-immigration measures in one day.

The about-face came after 60 top business executives signed a letter laying out the negative economic consequences of the anti-immigration campaign, such as canceled contracts, boycotts and a decline in tourism.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.kentucky.com.

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