NM inches closer to Real ID Act deadline

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — That New Mexico driver's license may not mean much a month from now.
    
The nation's Real ID Act is scheduled to take affect January 15th, 2013 and New Mexico is still not in compliance with the federal law.
    
So far, the Department of Homeland Security has not said anything about extending the deadline again.
    
It's a deadline that's been pushed back further and further since the act was passed in 2005, but the Department of Homeland Security said earlier this year the law can't wait any longer.
    
Governor Martinez agrees.

”I don't want to pretend that deadline isn't real I take the report of homeland security as serious and that's how we're going to push forward with that law and its need to be repealed during the session,” Martinez said.
    
Governor Martinez has been trying to repeal the state law that grants drivers licenses to illegal immigrants since she was elected.
    
She says that's the biggest reason why the state will not be in compliance with the federal Real ID Act when it takes effect next month.
    
As it stands right now, New Mexicans would have to use their passports to board planes or get into federal facilities like Sandia National Labs.
    
The act was passed after 9/11 to prevent terrorists from obtaining fake ids and boarding planes undetected.
    
The state's upcoming legislative session will not be complete by the looming deadline.
    
Governor Martinez says if the act passed at the federal level the state needs to do the same.

“It passed committee hearing in the house and on the house floor and committee hearings in the senate and would not come up for a vote in the senate and that's the problem” Martinez said. “I’m hoping since all these legislatures have just been out running for office talking to their constituents they will see how important it is for us to comply with the real id act and get rid of the law that is our biggest impediment." 
    
The governor has tried twice to repeal the law.
    
KRQE News 13 has reached out to New Mexico’s U.S. congressmen and representatives Monday.
    
In a statement, Democratic Senator Tom Udall said he's been working closely with Homeland Security.
    
He expects the deadline to once again be extended, or to implement different screening procedures to ensure air travel is not disrupted.
    
Congressman Steve Pearce said he's ready to help however possible.
    
If the deadline sticks, airport travel wouldn't be the only thing affected. Access to national labs, military bases and some federal buildings could be affected, too.
 

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New Mexico (change)

 
New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.
 
Offices & Officials

Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
Secretary of State: Dianna J. Durán

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