Driver’s license checks no mas. For now.
Everyone is talking about driver's licenses. First Gov. Susana Martinez required 10,000 foreign nationals to show proof of residency. Then, Mexican-Americans rallied to fight back: protests, letters, and lawsuits abound.
Yesterday, a District Court judge in Santa Fe, Sarah Singleton, issued a temporary halt to the guv’s push. The order came in response to a lawsuit brought against the Taxation and Revenue Department. Freedman Boyd, working with the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund, filed the suit. He says Martinez’ license verification effort violates the separation of powers between New Mexico's executive and legislative branches.
“We think it's a great step towards ending this unconstitutional action once and for all,” says David Urias, an lawyer who also worked on the lawsuit. “We believe the courts will step in and stop it.”
This would be good news for El Centro and Somos un Pueblo Unido, organizations that advocate for immigrant rights. Both groups have vocally opposed the program, saying Martinez is targeting immigrants for political gain.
Somos un Pueblo Unido issued a news release yesterday about the judge's decision, explaining their stance on the residency certification. The organization “believes the program is inefficient, costly, confusing, and is being used to intimidate immigrant families in New Mexico … .”
Today El Centro will hold a rally called “Don't Target our Families” outside of the Taxation and Revenue Department at the northeast corner of Central and San Mateo at 5 p.m.