SANTA FE, N.M. — Hundreds of immigrant advocates protested New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's push to repeal a state law that allows illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses.
The advocates, including religious groups and student activists, marched around the Capitol Tuesday in what has become a regular scene since Martinez took office last year.
New Mexico is one of three states — including Washington and Utah — where illegal immigrants can get driver's licenses because no proof of citizenship is required.
Martinez, the nation's first Latina governor, is pressing state lawmakers to repeal New Mexico's law over fraud concerns. During her State of the State speech last week, she cited polls that showed a majority of state residents supporting scrapping the law.
However, advocates and their allies, especially the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops, say another poll found most state residents want to keep the law after hearing Roman Catholic leaders explain their stand on moral grounds. Other religious groups have joined the bishops' campaign.
Advocates and some law enforcement leaders also argue the law has helped track motorists in the state and made driving safer because it forces illegal immigrants to purchase insurance and gives state officials their personal data.