New Mexico Rejects Bill to Ban Illegal Immigrant Drivers Licenses

February 28, 2011

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.

Topics Legislation Personal Auto Mexico

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