State mulls 1 office for immigrant licenses Officials say consolidating applications to Albuquerque location could help customer service
The state is considering opening an Albuquerque office to exclusively handle applications from foreign nationals seeking New Mexico driver’s licenses, Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla said Wednesday.
MVD workers: Foreign nationals strain NM driver’s license system
SANTA FE – Between 300 and 400 foreign nationals apply each week for New Mexico driver’s licenses, and they are straining the system, state employees said Wednesday.
Hispanic GOP Leaders Do Little to Improve Image
Hispanic Link News Service, News Report, José Armas, Posted: Oct 19, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Republicans created the Hispanic Leadership Network last year in an attempt to re-capture the Latino vote it lost in the 2008 presidential election. George Bush claimed an impressive 44 percent of that support in his 2004 presidential run. It shriveled to 31 percent when John McCain ran against Barack Obama in 2008.
MVD chief resigns post
Spokesman says move has ‘nothing to do’ with license recertification
Keith Perry, head of the state’s Motor Vehicle Division, abruptly resigned last week after Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla “raised some concerns” about the general management of the division.
Not-So-Special Sessions Become All Too Common
By Thomas Cole / Of the Journal on Sat, Sep 24, 2011
Special sessions of the state Legislature aren’t so special anymore; they have become almost an annual event. And special sessions are being expanded well beyond dealing with critical issues. Both Democrats and Republicans are behind the trend of more government in Santa Fe.
Both Sides Prod On License Issue
On Wednesday, a delegation of pastors and rabbis delivered a letter signed by 115 religious leaders from around the state to legislators, urging them to support the current law.
National group pressures on license law
Updated: Wednesday, 21 Sep 2011, 7:28 PM MDT
Reporter: Katie Kim
SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – The heat is about to get hotter on state lawmakers over the issue of giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.
Thousands of activists from the national political strongarm “Americans For Legal Immigration” stepped forward Wednesday to support Gov. Susana Martinez’ call to kill the controversial license law.
(Editorial note: This reporter fails to ask the basic question if legislators actually receieved any calls or emails yesterday.)
Religious leaders call for drivers licenses for undocumented to continue
New Mexico Religious Leaders Sign Petition Supporting Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented
Fox News Latino, Published September 21, 2011
More than 100 religious leaders from around New Mexico have submitted an open letter to state legislators in support of a state law that lets those illegally in the country get New Mexico driver’s licenses.
Leaders from a dozen or so faith affiliations submitted the open letter Wednesday as pastors and rabbis lobbied lawmakers. Religious leaders denounced in the letter the “hate-filled rhetoric” surrounding the debate over attempts to repeal the law.
Immigrant rights group upset with records denial
SANTA FE– An advocacy group on Monday said Gov. Susana Martinez had tried to scare the public about illegal immigrants receiving New Mexico driver’s licenses, but then refused to supply any evidence of fraud.
Somos Un Pueblo Unido made an open-records request for all “false or fraudulent” applications for foreign national driver’s licenses.
In response, the Department of Taxation and Revenue said it could not provide the records because state law prohibited their release.
License Fraud Records Denied
By Sean Olson / Journal Staff Writer on Tue, Sep 20, 2011
A pro-immigrants’ rights group is calling into question the transparency of Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration after it denied portions of a records request regarding investigations into driver’s license fraud. Somos Un Pueblo Unido Executive Director Marcela Díaz said in a statement Monday that the denial of driver’s license application records “which were found to be false or fraudulent” was a convenient excuse to continue making allegations without providing proof.
Immigrant rights group upset with records denial
Published 8:20 p.m., Monday, September 19, 2011
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An immigrant rights group says Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration is refusing to release public records related to fraudulent applications for New Mexico driver’s licenses by foreign nationals. Somos Un Pueblo Unido made a public records request earlier this summer, but the group said Monday the Taxation and Revenue Department won’t release documents involving fraudulent applications. Some other information was provided to the group.
New Mexico Democrats, governor clash over licenses for illegals
By Valerie Richardson The Washington Times, Sunday, September 18, 2011
New Mexico lawmakers are caught in a jam over whether to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and, like a trip to the motor vehicle department, this fight could take awhile.
Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican who took office this year, has proposed overturning a 2003 law that allows undocumented foreign nationals to obtain state-issued driver’s licenses. It is one of three such state laws in the country.
Editorial note: We are posting the above article, but note there are several omissions in this story. Namely that Gov. Martinez’s grandparents were undocumented themselves and the driver’s licenses legislation passed in 2003 was based on public safety, as well.
Guv’s Undocumented Granddad Had Deep El Paso Roots
By Joe Monahan, 9/16/2011
Interest in Governor Martinez’s background went off the charts when she confirmed that her grandparents on her father’s side
entered the USA illegally. That’s documented by 1930 census records. The revelation came in the midst of the heated debate over Martinez’s continuing push to have the state law repealed that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
Now we have new info….
Martinez said that her grandfather, Adolfo Martinez, “abandoned” the family when the Governor’s father, Jake, was five
years old. But one of our blog readers digs up records that shows the Governor’s grandfather did not simply disappear from the El Paso area which he entered illegally. That reader provides us with the obituary of Adolfo Martinez that ran in the El Paso Herald Post. It reveals that grandfather Martinez had set down deep roots in El Paso. Our reader writes:
Reacciones Ante Revelación de Abuelos Indocumentados
KLUZ News September 15, 2011. 5:02 PM
Santa Fe, NM- Tras darse a conocer que los abuelos de la gobernadora Susana Martinez estuvieron indocumentados en esta país, las reacciones no se hicieron esperar.
Las reacciones fueron automáticas tanto de los inmigrantes en Nuevo México como la de los legisladores en el capitolio. Algunos lo lleguen a llamar irónico, mientras que otros piensan que esto es totalmente irrelevante.
Immigrant licenses slowing in NM
By BARRY MASSEY, Associated Press
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The flow of driver’s licenses to immigrants has slowed in New Mexico since the state tightened its application system last year, but the drop-off steepened after Republican Gov. Susana Martinez took office in January promising to end the licensing policy, according to a review of state records by The Associated Press.
Judge limits investigation of immigrant driver’s-license holders
The New Mexican and wire services, Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011
A judge is allowing Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration to move ahead with a limited investigation to determine whether some immigrants with New Mexico driver’s licenses still live in the state.
District Judge Sarah Singleton on Tuesday decided that some residency checks can continue, although she’s putting on hold the administration’s broad plan for potentially certifying the licenses of tens of thousands of foreign nationals, including those living illegally in the country.
Judge Rules To Stop License Verification Program
For now, Gov. Susana Martinez is not allowed to cancel driver’s licenses for thousands of foreign nationals.
Extienden Orden Prohibiendo Cartas a Inmigrantes
El martes una juez extendió nuevamente la orden para no enviar más cartas a los inmigrantes para que comprueben su residencia en el estado de Nuevo México.
Driver’s license battle heads to court
Uploaded by KRQE on Sep 13, 2011
Governor Susana Martinez last month ordered the state to verify that foreign nationals who’ve obtained a New Mexico driver’s license actually live here to avoid fraud.
Court to let NM check on returned license notices
BARRY MASSEY, Associated Press
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A judge is allowing Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration to move ahead with a limited investigation to determine whether some immigrants with a New Mexico driver’s license still live in the state.
District Judge Sarah Singleton on Tuesday decided that some residency checks can continue although she’s putting on hold the administration’s broad plan for potentially certifying the licenses of tens of thousands of foreign nationals, including those living illegally in the country.
Judge questions license re-certification program
Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 – 9
Little room for deal on licenses
Republican’s bill for Utah-model permits gets support from Dems, not GOP
Trip Jennings | The New Mexican, Posted: Monday, September 12, 2011
Want a tutorial in how slippery politics can be in the state Capitol when the subject is New Mexico’s driver’s-license law? On Monday, all you had to do was watch the New Mexico House Rules Committee.
Gov’s Illegal Grandparents Story Goes Viral; What’s The Impact?
By Joe Monahan, Sept. 12, 2011
Has there been any news story in the eight months of Governor Martinez’s term that landed with more national impact than the confirmation that her grandparents on her father’s side came into the USA illegally? Not a chance. The report went viral making papers, blogs and social media sites coast-to-coast. Martinez’s tough anti-immigration stance made the story a noteworthy struggle for her spin doctors, as they tried to quiet the catcalls of “hypocrisy.”
Rompiendo el silencio:Estudiantes indocumentados, ciudadanos unen sus voces para buscar apoyo
Sandra Baltazar MartÍnez | La Voz de Nuevo México
Posted: Sunday, September 11, 2011
La voz de los jóvenes está dejando eco. Incluyendo la de los indocumentados.
Mientras que los políticos en Santa Fe se enfocan en asuntos de formar nuevos distritos – su principal tarea durante la sesión especial que inició el 6 de septiembre - estudiantes de Nuevo México se están presentando en el Capitolio para hablar con sus representantes políticos e intentar de aumentar apoyo para los alumnos indocumentados.
Religious groups deep in NM driver’s license fight as part of larger immigration reform battle
By Associated Press, Published: September 9, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Churches and religious groups opposing the governor’s renewed push to repeal a law allowing illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses say their actions are part of a larger and growing advocacy effort aimed at promoting immigration reform on moral grounds.
Dueling driver’s license bills increase drama
Trip Jennings | The New Mexican, Posted: Friday, September 9, 2011 – 9/
Democratic House Speaker Ben Luján of Nambé on Friday introduced his own driver’s license bill to compete with one supported by Gov. Susana Martinez.
His proposal would enable foreign nationals without Social Security numbers to receive state licenses, but only for two-year increments. New Mexico driver’s licenses currently are issued for four and eight years, although people 75 and older have to renew their licenses every year.
Susana Martinez, N.M. gov., says grandparents came to US illegally
By Russell Contreras, Associated Press / September 9, 2011
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has acknowledged her paternal grandparents came to the U.S. illegally, amid national attention and protests over her ongoing efforts to bar illegal immigrants from getting driver’s licenses.
(Mention of the rally at the bottom.)
DL protest video clip on Noticiero Univision
By David Alire, KLUZ, Sept. 8, 2011
After clicking on the link, scroll down and click on “Noticiero 10 pm, Sep. 8, 2011.”
Protesters Ask Martinez To Allow Foreigners To Get Licenses
Hundreds Gather To Rally At Capitol On Thursday
Hundreds gathered to rally at the Capitol on Thursday afternoon to protest the governor’s plan to stop foreign nationals from getting driver’s licenses.
NM governor says grandparents came to US illegally
By RUSSELL CONTRERAS Associated Press, 9/8/2011 2:26 PM
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who has drawn national attention and criticism from immigrant groups for trying to stop illegal immigrants from getting driver’s licenses, has acknowledged her paternal grandparents came to the U.S. illegally.
La Gobernadora Habla de Sus Abuelos Indocumentados
September 7, 2011. 05:12 PM
Albuquerque, NM- La gobernadora Susana Martinez habló de la controversia del origen de sus abuelos inmigrantes que llegaron a este país desde México y como ellos tampoco tenían una licencia de conducir.
Haga clic en el video para ver el reportaje completo de David Alire.
Inicia la Sesión Especial de la Legislatura Estatal
KLUZ News September 6, 2011. 05:13 PM
Santa Fe, NM- El martes comenzó la sesión especial de la legislatura estatal. David Alire nos dice que otros temas importantes estarán en la mesa de legisladores. Haga clic en el video para ver el reportaje completo.
Immigrant licenses issue draws demonstrators from both sides
By Sandra Baltazar MartÍnez | The New Mexican Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Jordan Cooper says he understands why Mexican immigrants cross the border. But he doesn’t agree with their actions.
“I know they need to get out of Mexico because of the bad conditions, but some are here to do harm,” the 14-year-old Cooper said as he stood outside the Capitol on Tuesday morning with more than 100 tea party supporters, carrying signs with such messages as “Language? English. Culture? American. Borders? Closed!”
Immigrant rights groups protest NM special session
By RUSSELL CONTRERAS Associated Press
Originally published Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 12:12 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. — Chanting “Jesus was an immigrant,” advocates greeted state lawmakers Tuesday as they returned for a special session that could consider a proposed repeal of a law that lets those illegally in the country get New Mexico driver’s licenses.
About 60 protesters and advocates, bused in from southern New Mexico by the group Border Network for Human Rights, lobbied lawmakers and presented a petition signed by 5,000 residents to Gov. Susana Martinez.
New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011
THOSE DRIVER’S LICENSES
In what has nearly become the defining issue of the Martinez administration, our insiders see the Governor cooling it a bit. In a pre-session interview she basically threw in the towel on getting a repeal of the law allowing illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses. She said there was no “consensus” on the issue in the Senate–meaning it will very likely die there. Alligator analysis says she may not put as much emphasis on it as she has been. That way she would avoid it
becoming the acrimonious centerpiece of the session.
New Mexico to mull changes to immigrant driver’s licenses
From Gustavo Valdes, CNN, September 6, 2011 10:01 a.m. EDT
Santa Fe, New Mexico (CNN) — New Mexico — one of three states that allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses — is debating whether to change the practice.
Governor poised to tangle – again – on
driver’s license issue
By Milan Simonich email@example.com Posted: 09/05/2011 09:59:40 PM MDT
SANTA FE – Democrats are starting to call her Gov. Gridlock.
They say Gov. Susana Martinez’s intransigence stops progress and discourages
the give and take that often comes with professional politics.
Advocates ready to rally on NM immigrant licenses
RUSSELL CONTRERAS, Associated Press Monday, September 5, 2011
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Lawmakers returning to the capital this week for a special session will be greeted by immigrant rights activists opposed to Gov. Susana Martinez‘ attempts to repeal a law that lets illegal immigrants get New Mexico driver’s licenses.
Judge blocks NM plan to verify immigrant licenses (4:18 p.m.)
SANTA FE – A New Mexico judge today issued a temporary restraining order halting Gov. Susana Martinez’s residency certification program for up to 10,000 foreign nationals. District Judge Sarah M. Singleton of Santa Fe issued the order, based on a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the governor’s action. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund filed the suit last week.
Judge halts governor’s immigrant-license checks
A state judge has blocked Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration from requiring some immigrants to recertify their driver’s licenses and verify whether they continue to live in New Mexico. District Court Judge Sarah Singleton issued an order Wednesday temporarily halting the license-verification program while it’s being challenged in court.
STATE COURT JUDGE GRANTS TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST NEW MEXICO’S ANTI-LATINO DRIVER’S LICENSE RE-CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
SANTA FE, NM – This week, Judge Singleton of the First Judicial District in Santa Fe ordered the New Mexico Secretary of Tax and Revenue to put a stop to the so-called “Residency Certification Program.” The Temporary Restraining Order prohibits all aspects of the unlawful re-certification program, including the state’s ability to single out certain individuals and to cancel driver’s licenses.
Judge blocks NM governor on immigrant driver licenses
SANTA FE, New Mexico (Reuters) – A New Mexico judge on Wednesday blocked a move by the state’s Republican governor to make it harder for illegal immigrants to keep driver’s licenses in the state. Governor Susana Martinez’s administration last month ordered the state to reverify the physical residency of foreign nationals who hold New Mexico driver’s licenses in order to get or keep their licenses.
In court again
Before it’s over, the Martinez administration is going to see the inside of a courtroom more than Perry Mason. The latest: (AP)–A New Mexico judge blocked Gov. Martinez’s administration Wednesday from requiring tens of thousands of immigrants to recertify their driver’s licenses and verify whether they continue to live in the state. Martinez last month announced the residency verification plan, which represents the administration’s latest effort to focus attention on the state’s politically charged license policy, which the governor contends poses a security risk. Yep. Back on the illegal licenses. Maybe we should just have a special cabinet department–”Office of Illegal Driver’s Licenses.” Come to think of it, we already have one. That’s the new name for the Office of the Governor.
MVD rejects teen’s birth certificate, SS card as proof of NM residency
Posted at: 08/31/2011 6:39 PM By: Cristina Rodda, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Governor Susana Martinez and many New Mexicans claim it’s too easy for illegal immigrants to get a driver’s license. But one 18-year-old Albuquerque man, who wasn’t able to get his license even though he showed a birth certificate and social security card, would claim the process is actually pretty hard. Steven Adams is hoping to get his driver’s license soon because he wants to get a job. His first attempt at doing just that failed miserably and he and his family don’t understand why.
MALDEF Here For New Mexicans
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a native of El Paso, has made a priority of appearing to clamp down on drivers license fraud, and has enacted a questionable administrative end-run around the Legislature’s refusal to rescind the law according such identification and certification to the undocumented population. In order to challenge this unlawful maneuver, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) has sued to end her administrative practice. Gov. Martinez has resorted to name-calling to suggest that MALDEF has no dog in this New Mexico fight, calling MALDEF an “out-of-state group.”
Democrats complain governor won’t govern … or compromise on driver’s licenses
SANTA FE Democrats are starting to call her Gov. Gridlock. They say Gov. Susana Martinez’s intransigence stops progress and discourages the give and take that often comes with professional politics. One of their hallmark examples is the law that allows state residents without proof of immigration status to obtain New Mexico driver’s licenses. A battle over the licensing law was fought last winter, and it will be renewed in the Legislature’s special session starting Sept. 6.
Governor’s license program faces suit; Opponents say its unconstitutional
Published : Wednesday, 24 Aug 2011, 6:47 PM MDT Reporter: Crystal Gutierrez
SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – A civil rights group and a group of state lawmakers on Wednesday hit the governor’s administration with a lawsuit over its checks of foreign nationals’ driver’s licenses. They’re trying to stop the program Gov. Susana Martinez ordered to check whether thousands of foreign nationals who have New Mexico drivers licenses actually live where they say they live.
Lawsuit filed against Gov Martinez program to verify driver’s licenses for foreign nationals
On Wednesday (Aug. 24), the Mexican American Legal and Educational Defense Fund (MALDEF) filed a lawsuit against the state aiming to stop the Martinez administration from continuing its “Residency Certification Program.” Martinez enacted the program, which has thus far sent out letters to 10,00o0 of the estimated 80,000 people who hold driver’s licenses as foreign nationals. Under a law passed in 2003, undocumented residents can obtain driver’s licenses in New Mexico — one of just two states in the nation that have such a law (Washington state is the other).
MALDEF suit seeks end to driver’s license scrutiny
SANTA FE – Should people who met every legal requirement to obtain a New Mexico driver’s license be subjected to proving their residency to the governor’s staff? A national civil rights group on Wednesday said the answer to that question is a resounding no, and that Gov. Susana Martinez had overstepped her authority in creating a residency certification program for up to 10,000 foreign nationals. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund sued Martinez’s administration in state District Court, seeking to end a state program in which foreign nationals must travel to Albuquerque or Las Cruces to verify that they are residents of New Mexico.
New Mexico sued over residency verification for licenses
Phoenix – The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a lawsuit Wednesday to halt a program to verify the residency of 10,000 allegedly undocumented immigrants who obtained driver’s licenses in New Mexico. The suit filed with the U.S. District Court in Santa Fe argues that it is illegal to try to force foreigners with driver’s licenses to prove that they actually reside in the state.