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In New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez is adding insult to injury for immigrants, with a new petition to repeal driver’s licenses for the undocumented — that refers to them as “illegal.”
Gov. Martinez has long crusaded on repealing driver’s licenses for the state’s undocumented population, one of the few in the country legally allowed to drive. With the state legislature once again looking like they will not push her legislation, Gov. Martinez has turned to petitions and social media.
Her petition reads, “Repeal the dangerous law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.”
When KOAT-TV asked Martinez why she still uses a term widely known as derogatory and offensive, she claimed that “as a lawyer, I try to quote the law as it is written, as it is written by them — not me.”
But the state of New Mexico refers to immigrants as “undocumented,” or just “immigrant,” meaning that Martinez is citing federal law — even though it’s state law she’s trying to repeal. She claimed that if Congress stops using the term, she will as well.
“That’s an absolute cop out; there’s no need to wait for Congress,” Ralph Arellanes, New Mexico director of The League of United Latin American Citizens, told KOAT. “She’s the governor of this state. She should take the lead in setting a national example.”
She could also do that, of course, by giving up her quest to strip the state’s undocumented immigrants of their driver’s licenses.