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Gov to Bishops: Let’s Seek Common Ground

SANTA FE, N.M. — Gov. Susana Martinez shared breakfast and a few laughs with Archbishop Michael Sheehan this morning, but agreement on all issues apparently wasn’t among the items on the menu.

Martinez indicated her position hasn’t changed on immigrant driver’s licenses — an issue the state’s Roman Catholic Church disagrees with her on.

At an annual prayer breakfast in Santa Fe, Martinez said she will work to find common ground with religious groups during the 30-day session that began Tuesday and threw her support behind abortion legislation favored by Sheehan and the state’s other Catholic bishops.

But she said she will continue to push for the repeal of a 2003 law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

The Catholic bishops believe the law makes state roads safer and is humane, though Sheehan said he’s willing to see the current law toughened as a compromise.

After the breakfast, Martinez told reporters that, in her mind, “We have compromised.”

The Governor’s Office has said compromises already accepted include not seeking revocation of existing driver’s licenses and allowing foreign nationals who are in the country legally to still get licenses.