Last month, a new measure created by the Governor of New Mexico was instated requiring immigrants to re-register their license and provide proof of where they will continue to live in the state. This Residency Verification Plan was an effort to crack down on immigration in New Mexico, one of three remaining where proof of citizenship is not required when applying for a driver’s license. The state had issued notices to everyone that needs to schedule an “in-person interview” to supply documents showing proof of residency. Of the 10,000 notices sent out, more than 30% have been returned as “undeliverable”. In an effort to crack down on loopholes, the state had also planned to cancel any license’s for those no longer living in the state.
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, however, challenged all aspects of the new program in court, forcing a district judge to freeze the program until it is resolved in court. The MALDEF claims that the law discriminates against a certain group of people: foreign nationals. They also claim that the Motor Vehicles Department has no reason to believe they’ve done anything wrong so they should not have to report. Further, Marcela Diaz of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, (Pardon, of WHAT organization?) an immigrant rights group, said in a statement that the license verification program “is nothing more than a bullying tactic that intimidates and threatens people for no reason.” Subsequently, this week, a federal judge denied Governor Susana Martinez and her administration the ability to verify the validity of immigrants licenses’ in the state.
So…notices are sent to the addresses provided on the license but many are “undeliverable” –yet, somehow, they still think there is no cause for concern? The proof is in the pudding. The word ‘foreign’ should set off some alarms. Yes, many foreigners live, work and contribute to America every year, after going through the proper channels. But why wouldn’t we toughen the screening process for those who are native to this country? I simply don’t understand why obtaining a government ID does not require that you prove you are actually able to be governed under THIS government.