License Access in New Mexico Is Heated Issue

Marc Lacey, New York Times, August 23, 2011

New Mexico is one of just two states, the other being Washington, that allow in-state residents who are illegal immigrants to get the same driver’s licenses given to citizens, as long as they pass a written test and successfully show they can turn and stop and park.

But critics, led by the newly elected governor, Susana Martinez, say that the lenient licensing law attracts illegal immigrants from far and wide who fraudulently claim they live in New Mexico in order to get identification cards that allow them to settle into American life.

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Meanwhile, to prove her point, Ms. Martinez has been drawing attention to each new case of fraud.

In May, charges were filed against a man who advertised his services securing licenses for illegal immigrants in Spanish-language newspapers in New York. The Border Patrol arrested him in Albuquerque in the company of illegal immigrants from Ecuador and Colombia, whom he was helping to become licensed drivers in New Mexico.

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In the meantime, her [Ms. Martinez’] administration has sent letters to 10,000 citizens of foreign countries across New Mexico in an effort to gauge the extent of the fraud problem.

Those who received the letters were told that they must appear at a motor vehicles office in Albuquerque within 30 days to prove to an auditor that they actually reside in the state or face cancellation of their licenses.

About a third of the 10,000 letters were returned to the state, which the governor’s office says shows a serious fraud problem. Of the 2,000 or so face-to-face meetings that have been held, about half the people have been able to prove they are in-state residents, state officials say.

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  • Anonymous

    This Hispanic governor Susana Martinez looks pretty white to me. Anyways, with drunk illegals killing innocent Americans left and right this makes perfect sense, except of course to the liberal traitor types.

  • Anonymous

    Why would honest, hard-working Mexicans commit fraud? There’s got to be something wrong with this story.

  • dying breed

    Many of the Hispanics in NM can trace their lineage to the 1600’s, speak a different dialect of Spanish and are not fans of the embarrassing mestizo invaders. I am not certain if Gov Martinez is of this heritage or not.

  • Jeddermann.

    “This Hispanic governor Susana Martinez looks pretty white to me”

    The original settlers of what is now New Mexico were Spaniards and NOT mestizo Mexican. European Spanish not having the admixture of the American Indian.

    And if any of these persons possessing a NM license is involved in a traffic death, the estate of the person killed should sue in civil court NM for damages big time. Helping to have established a climate of lax law enforcement that lead to the death. Sue that state and governor big time and get their attention.

    This type of organized law breaking, issuing licenses in the manner with which it is done and crossing interstate lines to do so is a federal racketeering conspiracy. Damages in those cases can be three times greater than normal.

  • Paleface 6

    @ Jedderman:

    “…And if any of these persons possessing a NM license is involved in a traffic death, the estate of the person killed should sue in civil court NM for damages big time. Helping to have established a climate of lax law enforcement that lead to the death. Sue that state and governor big time and get their attention…”

    You know, the deceased’s estate wouldn’t even have to win the suit to change the system. Just a headline screaming about a $50 million lawsuit would get a lot of attention.

  • Adam

    This is a bigger problem than we think. There are a lot of illegal immigrants that are getting their Driver’s License in NM and then coming to Colorado to get one here. Once you have a DL in another State, you can come to Colorado and simply exchange it. All you would have to do is take an eye exam, pay the fee and show a fax social security card.

  • StandardBearer

    There is no such thing as “hispanics”. As a term meant to describe an ethnicity it makes as much sense as “francophone” or “English speaker”. The Spanish speaking Indians and bi and triracial mongrels of Latin America are no friends of Hispanic Whites. Hispanic Whites should be natural allies to other Whites if they are embraced as White instead of being lumped in the same artificial category as the descendents of our former vanquished foes and slaves.

  • Marc B

    “The original settlers of what is now New Mexico were Spaniards and NOT mestizo Mexican. European Spanish not having the admixture of the American Indian.”

    There are a lot of them in Northern New Mexico, and the many are still traditional families that review marrying Mexicans and American Indians as race trading.

  • DriverLicenseGuy

    I work in driver licensing in a northern tier state, and it’s amazing how rampant residency fraud was in my state when neighboring states started requiring “legal presence” proof when acquiring a license. Van loads and truckloads and carloads of them, showing up at driver license offices, and being stupid enough enough to all use the same address! It was like shooting fish in a barrel: Tell them everything is cool, have them sit down, and call the cops to arrest them. We were finding some addresses with in excess of 100 persons claiming residency at that address within the last six months!! Talk about turnover!!

    Sadly, once you add in staff that don’t care to confront people or fill out reports, police who’d rather look the other way and just tell them “don’t come back here anymore,” and administrators up the ladder worried about “harassment” or “profiling” issues, I’m saddened to say many illegals still got licenses in my state when they didn’t reside here, and many still get licenses here by using someone else’s “legal” documents and just claiming to “be” them.

    What’s crazy is that I got my rear in a sling with the higher-ups by simply enforcing the law, and was told “it doesn’t send the right message” when I would have so many of them arrested!!

    Are you kidding me?

  • Anonymous

    It was just last month that we had to direct some three dozen Mexican Army troops in their humvees back across the border when they got lost crossing the International Donna Bridge in Texas.

    Excuse me, but how the heck do you not notice a big brand new international bridge with signs on both sides and the bleepin’ Rio Grande below? Uh, you don’t. They were over here for a reason and it wasn’t because of a wrong turn.

  • Anonymous

    The thing to do is to abolish that foolish license privilege for illegals that is guaranteed to attract fraud.