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Thread: N.M. State senators draft compromise bill on immigrant licenses

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    N.M. State senators draft compromise bill on immigrant licenses

    State senators draft compromise bill on immigrant licenses

    Steve Terrell | The New Mexican
    Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
    - 1/17/13

    Two conservative state legislators who in the past have voted to repeal New Mexico’s law authorizing driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants are working on a compromise bill that would allow undocumented residents to get some form of a license.

    “We’re trying to find something that fixes the problem,” Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, said Thursday of the license issue, which has been one of the most divisive areas of conflict during the past two sessions of the Legislature. “I’m just tired of hearing about it.”

    However, a spokesman for Gov. Susana Martinez, who has unsuccessfully pushed repeal legislation since taking office two years ago, said Thursday that the governor isn’t interested in the kind of compromise being crafted by Ingle and Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming.

    “She will not sign any bill that continues the practice of giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants,” spokesman Greg Blair said in an email.

    Smith said Thursday that he and Ingle have had “a very brief conversation” with the governor about their planned legislation. “She didn’t say, ‘Oh boy, I’m in favor,’ but she didn’t come out and oppose it, either,” Smith said. “I’d like to find some kind of middle ground.”

    Both Ingle and Smith said they’re trying to craft a bill based on Utah’s driver’s license law. Utah has a two-tiered system in which an undocumented resident can get a license that bears a stamp indicating it’s for driving only and cannot be used for identification. Both senators stressed that their bill has yet to be drafted.

    Marcela Diaz, executive director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, an immigrant rights organization that has been at the forefront of the effort to stop the governor’s repeal efforts, said she is interested in Ingle and Smith’s plan, but she stopped short of endorsing it. “We have been willing to compromise all along,” Diaz said.

    Meanwhile, a bill favored by the governor was introduced in the House on Thursday by Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque. House Bill 132 was referred to three committees — Labor, Judiciary and Appropriations and Finance.

    Pacheco’s bill would add new requirements for foreign nationals who apply for state driver’s licenses. The application would have to include the number on the applicant’s passport or visa and the “expiration date of the foreign national’s authorized period of admission or extension of stay.” A driver’s license for such an applicant could only be valid for the period in which the foreign citizen is allowed to stay in the U.S.

    Martinez said in her State of the State speech Tuesday that the driver’s license issue shouldn’t be controversial because polls show a majority of voters support her position. However, the fight over driver’s licenses have proved to be among the most bitterly fought battles of the past two legislative sessions.

    In 2011, a repeal bill stalled in a House committee, prompting House advocates to “blast” the bill to the House floor for a vote. It passed the House but encountered trouble in the Senate, which amended the bill to impose more restrictions on illegal immigrants getting licenses but still allow licenses to be issued. Similarly in 2012, the Senate passed a compromise bill that never got a House vote.

    Martinez and her political operation used the license controversy in election campaigns against some Democrats who voted against her bill. Results were mixed, and it’s not clear how much the license issue weighed in the election results. Republicans gained three Senate seats in last November’s election but lost two House seats.

    House Speaker Kenny Martinez, D-Grants, no relation to the governor, said Thursday, “Last year, we were 30 minutes away from coming up with a compromise.” But he said the governor was opposed to any compromise. He said if the governor makes it clear that she won’t be willing to compromise this year, the Legislature shouldn’t spend much time on the issue.

    Contact Steve Terrell at 986-3037 or sterrell@sfnewmexican.com.
    Read his political blog at ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: THE BLOG.

    http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/011813xgrLICENSECOMPROMISE
    NO AMNESTY

    DON'T REWARD THE CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS

    BY GIVING THEM CITIZENSHIP

  2. #2
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    sounds like the exact same Globalist plan that has been floated in many states. Same plan Governor Eliot Spitzer tried to float. When Rasmussen polling showed national opposition at 77%, Spitzer's approval ratings collapsed into the unelectable range and then we found out about his expensive hooker.

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    DON'T REWARD THE CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS

    BY GIVING THEM CITIZENSHIP

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