NEXT STOP: VOTING BOOTHS!
LA RAZA AT WORK:
“The Senator expressed great concern on the rampant identification fraud taking place in her state. She noted that there are 300,000 more driver's licenses in Washington than there are drivers. (Id.)”
Washington and New Mexico to Continue Issuing Driver's Licenses to Illegal Aliens
Two states last week took affirmative steps to continue issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens. In New Mexico, despite a push from Governor Susana Martinez to tighten the state's lax licensing laws, the state Senate passed a bill last Wednesday which continues to allow illegal aliens to obtain driving privileges. (Reuters, Mar. 10, 2011; HB 78) The bill does increase the residency requirement for any foreign national to acquire a driver's license in New Mexico from three to six months. (HB 78) It also requires illegal aliens to reapply for a license every two years and increases penalties for falsified documentation. (HB 78)
Governor Martinez expressed disappointment after the Senate vote. "I promised the people of New Mexico that I will fight to repeal this law and that fight will continue," she said. (Id.) Senate supporters, however, felt their actions were sufficient. "If it's really about toughening the current law, then we did it," said state Senator Eric Griego. (Id.) The Senator did admit that the Senate bill is unlikely to pass through New Mexico's House of Representatives, leaving room for a continued debate on licensing illegal aliens in New Mexico. (Id.)
Similarly, the Washington state Senate killed a bill last Monday which would have banned driver's licenses to illegal aliens. (Fox News, Mar. 8, 2011) The bill also included other measures designed to reduce identification theft in the state. (SB 5407) The Washington Senate defeated the bill in a procedural motion, but state Senator Mary Margaret Haugen said that she will lobby the state's governor to provide support for the issue. "Nothing is ever dead in the Legislature," Haugen, a chief sponsor of the bill, said after the vote. "I'd ask the governor that she needs to stand and take leadership in this role. She needs to recognize what's happening in this nation." (Fox News, Mar. 8, 2011) The Senator expressed great concern on the rampant identification fraud taking place in her state. She noted that there are 300,000 more driver's licenses in Washington than there are drivers. (Id.)
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has said that she would sign a bill that bans the issuance of driver's licenses to illegal aliens if it passed through the legislature. Currently New Mexico, Washington and Utah are the only states in the U.S. to issue drivers licenses to illegal aliens. Roughly 83,000 foreign nationals hold driver's licenses in New Mexico alone.