09/04/2011

Judge blocks NM plan to verify immigrant licenses

New Mexico is one of only three states where an illegal immigrant can get a driver's license

By Barry Massey
Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico judge has blocked Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration from requiring some immigrants to recertify their driver's licenses and verify whether they continue to live in the state.

District Court Judge Sarah Singleton issued an order Wednesday temporarily halting the license verification program while it's being challenged in court.

A lawsuit was filed last week against the administration's plan to check a random sample of 10,000 license holders who are foreign nationals to determine their residency. People who receive notices must schedule an in-person appointment.

New Mexico is one of only three states — the others are Washington and Utah — where an illegal immigrant can get a driver's license because no proof of citizenship is required. However, Utah's permits cannot be used as government ID cards.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press

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