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Latino Daily News

Saturday January 14, 2012

New Mexico Sued for Firing Latino Whistleblower- 1 of 3 states that OK licenses to Undocumented

New Mexico Sued for Firing Latino Whistleblower- 1 of 3 states that OK licenses to Undocumented

Photo: Plaintiff Laura Montano with attorney David Hinojosa (Dean Hanson/Journal)

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a lawsuit against the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division on behalf of a Hispanic employee who was fired after she complained about its discrimination against Latinos.

Laura Montaño, a 39-year-old resident of Albuquerque, spoke out about a number of actions taken as part of a program to check the documents of 10,000 foreigners with New Mexico driver’s licenses picked at random, MALDEF said in a press release.

New Mexico is one of three states in the country that continues to provide undocumented immigrants with driver’s licenses despite the efforts of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to abolish the measure.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday before a Santa Fe court, the case was brought up of a Latino mom who had her driver’s license canceled when she failed to attend the appointment to have her documents checked because she was in hospital having a baby.

“There is no justification for the recertification program and there is no justification for the retaliation,” David Hinojosa, MALDEF Southwest Regional Counsel, said in the statement.