Senate Panel Blocks GOP Bill On Immigrant Licenses

Mar 6, 2013

A Senate panel has blocked a proposal by a Republican leader to allow one-year driving permits to immigrants who illegally came to the country and separate licenses to certain immigrant youths.

GOP Leader Stuart Ingle of Portales described the proposal as a compromise from the governor's previous efforts to stop New Mexico from issuing standard driver's licenses to U.S. citizens and immigrants alike.

The Public Affairs Committee tabled the proposal Tuesday, and the decision likely dooms any chance this session for restrictions on immigrant licenses.

Opponents say the proposed special licenses, which couldn't be used as identification to board airliners, created the potential for discrimination against immigrants.

A spokesman for GOP Gov. Susana Martinez says the administration did not support issuing driving permits to undocumented immigrants.