Lawmaker has fix for driver's licenses

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — A powerful state senator says he has a way to solve the state's struggle with driver's licenses for illegal immigrants and complying with the federal REAL ID Act.

The fix?  Two different types of driver's licenses.

Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, says it's sort of a compromise.

"It doesn't benefit the citizens of the state of New Mexico for us to be at a stalemate." Campos told KRQE News 13.  "It is important for us to move forward."

Campos is slated to be the next president pro-tem of the Senate pending a vote by the body in the legislative session that begins on Jan. 17.

He says he's working on a bill to establish two different types of driver's licenses in New Mexico.

One type would be a little more expensive for citizens but meet the stricter requirements of the federal REAL ID Act.

The second type would have fewer requirements and still go to illegal immigrants, as well as those who don't want or need a federally approved license.

According to Campos both licenses will help assure all New Mexico drivers are properly licensed and insured.

But the governor's administration, which has been fighting against driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, still has issues with the senator's proposal.

Tax and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla, who oversees the Motor Vehicle Division, says the proposal fails to address the issue of fraud.

"Let's get rid of the problem where we're having people come to New Mexico never intending to stay here and leaving our state," Padilla said.  "That is our problem.  It is a public safety issue."

The governor's administration is once again preparing to challenge driver's licenses for illegal immigrants in the Legislature.

The federal Department of Homeland Security recently granted New Mexico some relief giving the state at least another year to comply with the REAL ID Act.

Copyright 2014 KRQE TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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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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