Hundreds Rally In Santa Fe

Santa Fe – Immigrant rights supporters want Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to drop her policy of requiring state police to check the immigration status of criminal suspects.

Several hundred people rallied at the Capitol on Monday to protest the governor's directive to state law enforcement. They also oppose the administration's push to repeal a law allowing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.

Democratic lawmakers spoke at the rally against the executive order issued by the governor last week. Sen. Richard Martinez of Espanola said New Mexico shouldn't become like Arizona, referring to that state's controversial immigration enforcement law.

Administration officials say state agency law enforcement will ask about the immigration status of those arrested for crimes, but that won't happen routinely when state police stop someone for a traffic violation.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.