We all woke up this Thursday morning with the news that grand compromise on driver’s licenses is suppose to be hammered out by Friday, after a failed NM House Judiciary committee hearing on Wednesday afternoon. We look forward to hearing what that compromise might look like.
Here is what’s abuzz on Joe Monahan’s blog today:
Something is happening here and you don’t know what it is, famously crooned Bob Dylan. It’s a fitting phrase for the never-ending debate at the NM Legislature over Governor Martinez’s repeated pleas to repeal the law allowing undocumented immigrants to have driver’s licenses.
Monahan tries to offer his own analysis, which is not totally misguided, but he unfortunately repeats some misinformation, such as the now more than two-year-old bias poll by the Albuquerque Journal. A more recent poll found that a majority (64 percent) of New Mexicans want the current driver’s license law improved, not repealed and have New Mexico politicians turn their attention to the pressing issue of the day– the economy, stupid.
Here are some important aspects of Monahan’s blog posting:
–Overall, voters are most concerned about jobs and their personal financial condition. We are living through the most precarious economic times in history. Illegal immigration and driver’s licenses don’t register in their pocketbooks.
–Illegal immigration has sunk to record lows. The economic recession/Depression here means fewer jobs for everyone. The problem–especially in the state’s cities–is nowhere near as noticeable as it was during the late great bull market.
–The jobs undocumented immigrants traditionally fill are not highly sought by most New Mexico residents. Those are back-breaking jobs in agriculture, hotel maids, construction workers and the like. That tamps down resentment and in turn the desire for punitive legislation such as the license repeal.
–New Mexico is a majority-minority state. Hispanics, Native Americans, African-Americans and Asians make up the majority, there is widespread empathy for immigrants–illegal and otherwise–another reason the body politic here does not get in as much as an uproar as it does in less diverse states.
–And we would add one more reason to the list–political fumbling. The Governor’s all or nothing approach which is designed to set up Dems for a fall in the election booths, means a no compromise approach. A bill that fell short of outright appeal could put us on the path toward total repeal, but she has insisted on a total repeal–no compromise.