NM Rejects Driver’s Licence Ban for Illegal Immigrants

March 3, 2011

The New Mexico state Senate has voted against two proposals meant to prevent the state from issuing driver’s license to illegal immigrants. Both proposals were backed by senate Republicans.

Unsurprisingly, the two measures under consideration failed on party-line votes, with 25 Democrats opposing the GOP proposals, and 14 Republicans supporting them. The proposals were meant to amend a bill changing the driver’s license requirements for teenagers in New Mexico.

Governor Susana Martinez, a Republican, has often encouraged lawmakers to vote up-or-down to scrap a 2003 law permitting the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Republicans in the New Mexico Senate believe that the licensing system in their state constitutes a security risk. They have even suggested that terrorists could get state driver’s licenses.

Senator Eric Griego (D-Albuquerque) said that the legislation was driven by a fear of primarily-Mexican immigrants.

State Republicans maintain that they will push for a ban on licenses for illegal immigrants in the House.