New Mexico Renewing Fight Over Immigrant Licenses

Jan 30, 2013

A House committee has shelved a proposal by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to stop New Mexico from issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants but the issue isn't likely to go away in the Legislature.

The Labor and Human Resources Committee voted 5-4 along party lines Tuesday to keep the measure bottled up in the panel — a possible way for majority Democrats to try to delay action on the politically thorny issue until the Legislature adjourns in mid-March.

The governor's allies still have options, however. They can try to bypass the committee and force a vote by the 70-member House. That's what happened in 2011, and the House ultimately approved the governor's measure with the backing of Republicans and a handful of Democrats. The proposal died in the Senate, however.