Photo: New Mexico Driver's License Plan to Weed Out Undocumented Immigrants Blocked by Judge
A New Mexico judge as blocked the Republican administration’s attempt to require the state’s immigrants to recertify their driver’s licenses and verify that they still live in the state, after those opposed filed a lawsuit against the plan.
The verification plan was intended to crack down undocumented immigrants who illegally obtain New Mexico driver’s licenses though many live elsewhere.
The plan was introduced by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration, and is its latest attempt to draw attention to the state’s immigration policies, which they believe to be flawed. In New Mexico, proof of citizenship is not required to receive a license, something Martinez says it a security risk.
Martinez wants change the current licensing policy to require drivers to provide a valid Social Security number, something a person in the country illegally would not be able to do.
Those opposed to the verification plan said it was discriminating against foreign nationals and punishing people who the government had no reason to believe had done anything wrong.
The lawsuit also stated that the governor did not have the power to force certain people to reapply for drivers’ licenses without Legislature approval.
Before the recent court ruling, 10,000 recertification letters hand gone out, and roughly 30 percent of those were returned as undeliverable.