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Latino Daily News

Wednesday February 2, 2011

First Latina Gov Issues Exec Order to Check immigration Status and Calls to Repeal 2003 DL Law

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) is directing police to check the immigration status of people arrested for crimes.

“This order takes the handcuffs off of New Mexico’s law enforcement officers in their mission to keep our communities safe,” Martínez said in a statement. “The criminal justice system should have the authority to determine the immigration status of all criminals, regardless of race or ethnicity, and report illegal immigrants who commit crimes to federal authorities.”

Law enforcement will be barred from asking for immigration status of anyone who is a crime victim, witness to a crime or asking for police assistance.  Former Governor Bill Richardson (D) had ordered these restrictions in 2005.

Gov. Susana Martinez, a career prosecutor before being elected in November, has called on the Legislature to repeal the 2003 law in which people can obtain New Mexico licenses without providing proof of immigration status.