Deal offered on immigrant driver's licenses

SANTA FE (KRQE) — A compromise could be brewing in the Legislature over the contentious law that allows driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.

Bipartisan legislation--Senate Bill 521--was introduced by senate minority leader Stuart ingle, r-Portales bill has been introduced that could set the framework for a driver's license deal.

This is senate bill 521, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, and Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming.

The bill would create two classes of driver's licenses, one federally compliant for boarding planes and entering federal buildings, and another that is not.

Under the proposal the Motor Vehicle Division would issue the first one to U.S. citizens and to foreign nationals in the country legally.

The second license would be for what have become know as "dreamers" for the federal DREAM Act .  Those are people who were brought to the U.S. as children but are not legal citizens.

Their licenses would not be valid for boarding a plane or entering federal buildings.

Complicating the debate is a bill Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, plans to introduce on Thursday that would open the second type of license to all illegal immigrants.

"We don't have that in this bill right now, but it's something I'm sure as committees go forward it's going to be brought up and talked about," Ingle told KRQE News 13.

Ingle characterized the compromise bill as a starting point.

Speaker of the House Ken Martinez, D-Grants, told KRQE News 13 that in the past he would have a hard time supporting any bill that doesn't allow illegal immigrants driving privileges in New Mexico.

Governor Susana Martinez has been pushing for a full repeal of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants since she took office.

In a statement she called the Ingle-Smith plan a "reasonable compromise."

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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.
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Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
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