Commentary: Somos Un Pueblo Unido, New Mexico's statewide immigrant's rights organization, released the following statement in response to Republican Representative Paul Pacheco introducing HB 99, a proposal that would unnecessarily take away drivers' licenses from thousands of New Mexico's immigrant families and force them to carry a discriminatory driver's permit:
"Time and time again, Governor Martinez and her anti-immigrant allies have chosen to score political points over actually complying with the Real ID Act, and Republican Representative Paul Pacheco's latest proposal continues this senseless and reprehensible path, said Marcela Diaz, Executive Director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido. It unnecessarily discriminates against the over 90,000 New Mexicans, immigrant families who live, work and pay taxes here, endangers minorities already vulnerable to discrimination and singles them out for deportation by state law enforcement who already report people over to ICE. And it forces other New Mexicans to re-apply in person with additional documents required to get a Real ID license they don't want or need. New Mexicans have been misled by the Governor and forced to play her Real ID political game for years, the only reason why New Mexico is not complying with the federal Real ID Act is because the Governor rejected five legislative proposals over the last four years that would have made us compliant, three of which were introduced by Republican legislators. There are Real ID fixes that do not discriminate against immigrant families and that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans."
Somos Un Pueblo Unido is a statewide immigrant-led civil and worker's rights organization with membership teams in ten counties and offices in Santa Fe and Roswell. Somosspearheaded a campaign in 2003 with law enforcement officials, victims rights agencies, and faith and civil rights groups to require qualified undocumented immigrants to apply for licenses, obtain insurance, and register their vehicles.