House Leader Proposes Immigrant License Changes

New Mexico – A Democratic legislative leader proposes to tighten requirements for foreign nationals and illegal immigrants to get a New Mexico driver's license.

House Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Santa Fe, introduced a measure on Friday to establish a six-month state residency requirement for immigrants to get licenses. Fingerprints also would be required for immigrants applying for a license and their licenses must be renewed every two years. Currently, a license lasts either four or eight years.

The Senate approved a similar proposal earlier this year but it was rejected by the House, which backed Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's plan to stop granting licenses to illegal immigrants.

Governor's spokesman Scott Darnell called Lujan's proposal a "gimmick bill" that continues to allow licenses for illegal immigrants.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.