Senate Rejects End To Immigrant Licenses

KRWG News – SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) The Senate has dealt a political setback to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez by rejecting a proposal to stop New Mexico from issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

The Senate voted 24-17 Wednesday night against a proposal by Republican Sen. John Ryan of Albuquerque that would end the practice of granting licenses to foreign nationals without a Social Security number. Two Democrats broke party ranks and joined Republicans in backing the proposal.

After rejecting the GOP proposal, the Senate voted 25-16 to approve a measure that keeps the state's licensing system but establishes tougher penalties for fraudulently trying to obtain a driver's license. Immigrants also will have to renew their licenses every two years.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. krwg