What is this, 2010?
The New Mexico legislative session begins today, and one of the issues on the agenda is, unfortunately, Governor Susana Martinez‘s ongoing push to repeal driver’s licenses for immigrants living in the state.
It’s an issue that Martinez had been dogged about since becoming Governor in 2011, and one that has earned her much criticism, since she is the nation’s first Latina governor and leads the nation’s most Latino state. As a Democratic state representative told the New York Times about her in 2013:
Being the first Hispanic governor in a state that takes pride in its Hispanic heritage could have been a powerful force in bringing people together. She chose instead to pander to the anti-immigrant sentiment in her party, and that’s her record.
Martinez’s insistence on going after immigrant driver’s licenses seems especially tone-deaf considering how much support has been expressed for immigrants and immigration reform in the last year. It is no longer 2010 or 2011, when states like Arizona and Alabama were passing incredibly punitive, harsh anti-immigrant laws. Such legislation has since been largely struck down by the courts — and states have begun to swing the other way. As the Wall Street Journal noted today, the latest trend in state legislatures has been passing bills aimed at integrating immigrants, rather than cracking down on them:
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