The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico debunks Governor Martinez’s Real ID Scare Tactic
ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Today, Governor Martinez released a statement informing the public that the state practice of issuing drivers’ licenses to undocumented residents could prevent New Mexico licenses from complying with REAL ID standards by the deadline of January, 2013. This statement is misleading at best.
REAL ID is dead. Americans have already rejected large parts of this ill-conceived attempt to unite state drivers’ licenses into a national ID card. Thirty-six states—including New Mexico—currently do not fully comply with this unpopular, unfunded mandate. In fact, twenty-five states have passed resolutions rejecting REAL ID, and in fifteen states (more than 20% of the U.S. population), it is illegal for state officials to comply with the law.
Just as we saw in 2008, 2009, and then 2011—all previous deadlines for compliance—the Department of Homeland Security will almost surely kick the can further down the road and extend the deadline again. The government cannot afford to ban 20 percent of the total population from entering a federal building or boarding a plane back home from winter holidays.
Today’s statement from the Governor is a scare tactic meant to advance her agenda of dismantling New Mexico’s drivers’ license law. The Governor should not use the practically defunct REAL ID law to make baseless accusations about a drivers’ license law our legislature passed to improve public safety.
This statement may be attributed to Peter Simonson, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Mexico.