New Mexico Tries To Block Driver's Licenses For Illegal Immigrants
January 17, 2012

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is asking lawmakers for the third time to pass a bill that would prohibit illegal immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses.

The governor addressed the controversial issue on Tuesday toward the end of her state of the state address. She said it was time to put an end to a law put in place by her predecessor, Gov. Bill Richardson.

“This issue has been debated thoroughly,” Martinez said. “The desire of New Mexicans is clear and it's time to vote to repeal the law.”

New Mexico is one of three states that still allow illegal immigrants to get a driver's license.

Photo courtesy State of New Mexico.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

In the past two years, people from China, India and Brazil have been charged with fraudulently obtaining driver's licenses for illegal immigrants who lived out of state. Polls have shown a majority of New Mexicans are in favor of passing the driver's license bill.

Opponents say the bill will result in more untested and uninsured drivers on New Mexico's roads.

On Monday, more than 300 protesters marched in Las Cruces. Protests are expected to continue in the capital throughout the current 30-day legislative session, which began Tuesday.

Other topics the governor touched on included increasing spending for schools and medicaid and allowing a tax break for small businesses.