Governor Susana Martinez called today for an up-or-down vote on the
floor of the legislature for a bill that would repeal New Mexico's policy of issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Earlier today, the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted along party lines against approval of the measure despite overwhelming support from the people of New Mexico.
"This critical matter of public safety deserves an up-or-down vote on the floor of the legislature," said Governor Martinez. "The people of New Mexico have made it clear that they disapprove of the policy of issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, but their voices are sadly not being heard by some of their elected representatives. I am extremely disappointed that New Mexico's citizens have been shut out of the legislative process and believe the entire legislature should give this bill an up-or-down vote on the floor. No more hiding behind unrecorded tabling motions in committee -- the public has a right to know where their legislators stand on this critical issue.
"New Mexico could soon be the last state in the country that still issues licenses to illegal immigrants. The potential for abuse of this policy is far too high and it will only increase in the future. Our state has become a magnet for criminals around the world who wish to move freely around the United State without detection. I continue to call on our elected officials to uphold government's most basic duty of keeping New Mexicans safe by ceasing the issuance of driver's licenses to those who may pose a security threat to our
state and our country."
According to a poll taken by the Albuquerque Journal in September 2010, an
overwhelming majority of New Mexicans oppose the policy of issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants:
"New Mexico voters
strongly disapprove of the state's policy of giving
driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Seventy-two percent of voters polled
opposed New Mexico's driver's license law " (Sean Olson, "Voters Support
Strong Policy on Immigrants," Albuquerque Journal, 9/5/10)