SANTA FE, N.M. — A House panel has approved a proposal backed by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to stop driver's licenses for illegal immigrants in New Mexico.

The Judiciary Committee voted 9-6 for the politically charged measure and to send it to the House for debate. Two Democrats joined with Republicans in backing the measure.

The House approved a similar proposal last year to scrap the current licensing system for illegal immigrants but it failed in the Senate.

The governor contends there's widespread fraud in the current license system. Supporters of the current law say immigrants in New Mexico need licenses for jobs and school.

Many Democrats favor an alternative proposal allowing licenses for illegal immigrants but imposing new restrictions such as the fingerprinting of applicants.