NM Senate rejects effort to stop immigrant licenses

KRWG News – SANTA FE, N.M. (KRWG) The Senate has rejected Republican-backed proposals to stop New Mexico from issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

Two measures failed on party-line votes on Monday, with 14 Republicans voting to end the state's practice of granting licenses to illegal immigrants. Twenty-five Democrats opposed the GOP proposals, which were offered as amendments to a bill changing driver's license requirements for teenagers.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has urged lawmakers to vote up-or-down on legislation to scrap New Mexico's 2003 law allowing licenses for illegal immigrants.

Senate Republicans said New Mexico's licensing system poses a security risk. They suggested that terrorists might be able get a state driver's license.

Democratic Sen. Eric Griego of Albuquerque said the legislation was driven by a fear of immigrants, many of them from Mexico.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. KRWG