NM Pressures Illegal Immigrants to Prove Residency

POSTED: Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 4:42pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 7:51am

NEW MEXICO- About 10,000 illegal immigrants who have a New Mexico driver's license will soon get letters from the MVD ordering them to come in and prove they still live here.

If they can't or don't show up their licenses will be cancelled. Secretary Demesia Padilla says it's a security issue.

“They're leaving New Mexico with a government issue ID that gives them access to federal buildings and ability to get on an airplane,” says Padilla.

The 10,000 who get the letters will be chosen at random from the 85,000 undocumented immigrants who've obtained New Mexico IDs since 2003. The Martinez administration claims many have presented fake addresses to get a license.


“We had one address used 60 times for a place of residence,” says Padilla.

“She’s going to unnecessary and totally wasteful lengths to go after a windmill that doesn't exist ,” says
Democratic Senator Gerald Ortiz Y Pino supports licenses for illegals.

He claims the fraud allegations are political moves by Martinez to capitalize on a hot-button issue.
“What are we making New Mexico safe from? People who need jobs? This is ridiculous. Terrorists? She's ludicrous,” says Pino.

Gov. Susana Martinez ordered the motor vehicle department to send letters to 10,000 random undocumented immigrants who have obtained state driver's licenses to prove they still live in New Mexico.

More than 85,000 people without social security numbers have received New Mexico driver's licenses since 2003, when the legislature passed a law allowing illegal immigrants to apply for a driver's license.

"There were a large number of folks that shouldn't have received (a license)," said tax and revenue secretary Demesia Padilla.

The 10,000 people who receive the letters will have 30 days to schedule an in-person appointment and bring documents, such as bank statements, utility bills, lease agreements or pay stubs, which prove they live in New Mexico. If they no longer live in-state or don't show up for an appointment, Padilla said their licenses will be cancelled.

Padilla said it's a security issue.


Martinez tried to repeal the 2003 law during this year's legislative session but failed. She vowed to revive the measure during the special session in September. Martinez said New Mexico has become a target for out-of-state criminals to come here to get a license.

Padilla said the number of fraud cases has been alarming. Padilla said the residency certification program is just an administrative fix. She said the real solution is to repeal the law altogether.

New Mexico and Washington are the only two states that still issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

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I for one am glad this is happening. A DL should not be given to illegal immigrants. Its all they need to enroll various goverment programs because when anyone ask you for ID this is one of them. If a fake address is given how would you know?

A different DL design should be given to them but not accepted as a form of ID rather just something that says they know the rules of the road for our country.

I agree 100% with the Governors actions. I don't care who comes to the U.S., as long as you come here legally. If you can not follow the basic laws to enter the country, you will not follow the other basic laws of the country.

A driver's license is not a security issue! If it is then there are millions of dangerous Americans, drug dealing Americans, murderous American, Rapist/Pedaphile Americans that should NOT have a license! Are American so gullible that they believe all the BS they read about immigrants?! Try getting to know a few immigrants, find out the real story before you go condemning people to imprisonment, deportation and death for trying to provide better lives for their families.

I don't understand how repealing driver's licenses for ilegal inmigrants is going to make New Mexico any safer. Taking away 85000+ driver's licenses won't prevent them from driving,they will drive uninsured. If they have a driver's license they most likely pay their tickets and pay for auto insurance from wich N.M gets it's share of money.

Stupid logic pure and simple...what part of the word illegal do you not understand?

It does not make any legal or rational sense to issue licenses to illegal immigrants. It just goes to show that people like Pino lied when they swore they will uphold and defend the constitution of the United States!

Thanks Susana Martinez.My parents met &married in the 60's then followed all the rules,regulations and laws before making the U.S their Home.Then they had their kids here and i am proud to be an American.But i get very upset &frustrated when Illegal Immigrants have more rights than i do & Free services everywhere.They do not have to pay 4school, hospitals,clinics &recieve public assistance because they do not have money.Yet i am required to get a loan for school,in dept at the hospital& no asst

Democratic Senator Gerald Ortiz Y Pino is a tool. Illegals are ILLEGAL! I don't care if they want a job or not. Come into the US legally and get a job or stay in your home country and get a job there. I can't believe that someone that the People voted for that is a senator can't seem to uphold the United States Constitution. The Constitution that our brave soldiers fight for! Shame on Senator Gerald Ortiz Y Pino!!!!

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