January 20, 2015
Proposal Will Make Families Less Safe and Hurt Thousands of New Mexican Children
Santa Fe, NM–The following is a statement from Somos Un Pueblo Unido regarding the governor’s sixth introduction of a proposal to take away driver’s licenses from immigrant residents of New Mexico:
“Unfortunately this Governor and her anti-immigrant allies in the Legislature prefer to put political pandering over a sound public policy that is proven and that works. New Mexico has had an immigrant driver’s license law in place for over twelve years, and now some of the biggest states in the nation are following our lead by requiring all immigrant drivers to be licensed, registered and insured. These states did so with strong support from Democrats, Republicans, and law enforcement agencies because they were experiencing significant public safety problems as a result of their unlicensed populations.
All the Governor’s proposal would do is make our roads and families less safe and harm the educational opportunities and economic security of the 100,000 children born in New Mexico who happen to have immigrants parents. These children count on their parent’s driver’s license for safe transportation, as well as for identification at schools, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, hospitals, and state agencies. It is a shame that the Governor, despite all her talk about improving opportunities for children, doesn’t seem to care much about these New Mexican kids.”
The states that currently require undocumented immigrants to apply for licenses are: Colorado, Nevada, Maryland, Vermont, California, Connecticut, and Illinois. Puerto Rico and Washington DC also passed similar laws.
Somos Un Pueblo Unido spearheaded a campaign in 2003 with law enforcement officials, victims rights agencies, and faith and civil rights groups to require qualified undocumented immigrants to apply for licenses, obtain insurance, and register their vehicles.