N.M. Wrestles With Driving Licenses to Illegals

Wednesday, 09 Mar 2011 11:00 AM

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Lawmakers in New Mexico are gearing up for a big fight over the issuance of drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported Wednesday.

A powerful Senate committee Tuesday voted to strip out the language of a proposed bill passed by the House that would have overturned a law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain licenses.

Gov. Susana Martinez had made stopping illegal immigrants from getting licenses a top priority. Some lawmaker are predicting a major battle over adding the language back in.

new mexico illegals drivers"The bill in its current form is a sham and insults the intelligence of every New Mexican who wants to see this dangerous law overturned," Martinez said in a news release.

About 80,000 foreign nationals have New Mexico driver's licenses, although it's unclear how many are in the U.S. illegally, the newspaper reported.

The move to change the practice arose after state investigators found hundreds of cases of fake documents being used to obtain driver’s licenses.

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