Governor Backs New Immigrant License Proposal

Credit Office of the Governor

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is backing a proposal to offer temporary driver's licenses to certain immigrant youths but stop New Mexico from granting licenses to other immigrants who illegally came to the country.

Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell said Wednesday the governor worked closely with Senate Republican Leader Stuart Ingle and Democratic Sen. John Smith of Deming in developing the legislation. Knell described the proposal as a "reasonable compromise."

However, the immigrant advocacy group Somos Un Pueblo Unido opposes the bill. The group objects that only temporary licenses, which couldn't be used to board airliners, would be offered to young undocumented immigrants covered by a federal policy deferring immigration enforcement.

The legislation would create two New Mexico licenses — one complying with the federal Real ID Act and one that doesn't.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.