New Mexico House Approves Halting Immigrant Licenses

AMARILLO, TX-- The New Mexico house of representatives has approved the halting of issuing licenses to those in the country illegally.

The state has issued driver's licenses to about 80,000 foreign nationals but not all them are in the country illegally. Republican Governor Susana Martínez pushed for the repeal of a state law that allows illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses.

New Mexico is the only border state that does not require proof of immigration status to be issued a driver's license. Clovis's senator, is one of the legislators who wants to require immigration status for anyone who applies for a driver's license.

"One of our biggest problems is because our law reads 'regardless of immigration status', it makes it very difficult for us to fly without a passport. It raises questions about New Mexico's driver's license, it has in the past and it's a situation that needs to be solved" said Senator Clinton Harden of Clovis.

Supporters of the current law said it has helped improve public safety, lessening fear among immigrants to report crimes to police and improving compliance with insurance requirements for drivers.

It now goes to the Senate, which has rejected proposals to overturn the state's license law.