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New Mexico Governor Cracks Down On Out-Of-State Foreigners With Driver's Licenses

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New Mexico Governor Cracks Down On Out-Of-State Foreigners With Driver's Licenses

New Mexico Governor Cracks Down On Out-Of-State Foreigners With Driver's Licenses

Foreign nationals in the state of New Mexico will now have to prove they reside in-state if they want to keep their driver's license.

Governor Susana Martinez's office sent out random letters this week to 10,000 immigrants who hold New Mexico licenses. It's the governor's latest effort to crack down on illegal immigrants with licenses.

Photo courtesy State of New Mexico.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

The letter states that the driver must verify his or her residency in the next 30 days or else the license will be canceled. The governor contends that New Mexico is one of two states that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, which she says presents a security threat.

New Mexico authorities have arrested people from as far away as Poland and China suspected of driver's license fraud. Some Democrats and human rights advocates contend that sticker regulations unfairly target foreign nations and will result in more uninsured drivers. Some 85,000 foreign nationals have New Mexico's driver's licenses, according to the governor's office. About 1.7 million people overall have licenses.

In the absence of federal immigration reform, states around the country are pushing a variety of bills that address the controversial issue.