NM Drivers License Battle

New Mexico – A fight is brewing in the Senate on whether New Mexico should continue to grant driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure Tuesday night to keep the current policy in place but establish tougher penalties for fraudulently trying to obtain a license.

The committee overhauled a House-passed bill that would stop licenses for illegal immigrants. Under the Senate panel's bill, immigrants and foreign nationals without a Social Security card will have to renew their licenses within two years.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez opposes the Senate committee proposal. She issued a statement calling the bill is a "sham."

The measure goes to the full Senate for debate. The House and Senate must agree on the same version of a bill before it goes to the governor.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.