Friday, October 31, 2003
N.M. Senate Won't Block Immigrant Licenses
The Associated Press
SANTA FE The state Senate has shelved a Republican-backed proposal aimed at stopping New Mexico from issuing driving licenses to illegal immigrants.
The Democratic-controlled Senate decided Wednesday that the proposal by Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, could not be considered during the Legislature's special session.
Adair tried to introduce a constitutional amendment to prohibit the Legislature from approving measures that would allow illegal immigrants from obtaining a driver's license in New Mexico.
Legislation in special sessions is limited to issues placed on the agenda by the governor.
A Senate panel determined that the immigration proposal was not a germane subject matter for the session. The Senate, on a 22-17 party line vote, upheld a parliamentary ruling that blocked consideration of Adair's proposal.
Earlier this year, a new state law took effect that allows illegal immigrants to get a driver's license by using a tax identification number rather than requiring them to have a Social Security number. Immigrants must provide proof of New Mexico residency and some form of identification, such as a passport, an immigration document or a matricula consular issued by the Mexican consulate.
Adair said that granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants would compromise national security.