New Mexico’s Senate has rejected Republican-backed proposals to stop the state from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.
Two measures failed on party-line votes, with 14 Republicans voting to end the state’s practice of granting licenses to illegal immigrants. Twenty-five Democrats opposed the GOP proposals, which were offered as amendments to a bill changing driver’s license requirements for teenagers.
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has urged lawmakers to vote up-or-down on legislation to scrap New Mexico’s 2003 law allowing licenses for illegal immigrants.
Senate Republicans said New Mexico’s licensing system poses a security risk. They suggested that terrorists might be able get a state driver’s license.
Democratic Sen. Eric Griego of Albuquerque said the legislation was driven by a fear of immigrants, many of them from Mexico.
State Republicans, however, have told local news agencies they will push for legislation banning licenses for illegal immigrants in the House.
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