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N.M. legislators filing suit over drivers license verification program

Marc Lacey of the New York Times reports today on the debate over driver’s licenses for foreign nationals in New Mexico. Much of the story covers the debate that is familiar to most New Mexicans. One piece of news in the debate is that a group of immigrants will file suit today over the verification program:

On Wednesday, four Democratic legislators and Marisela Morales, a legal permanent resident who received one of the letters, intend to file suit in state court accusing the governor’s office of acting without legislative authority in issuing the letters and also of discriminating against people on the basis of their legal status.

The suit will ask a judge to order Demesia Padilla, who as the governor’s secretary of taxation and revenue oversees the motor vehicles division, to end the verification program immediately. The legal team behind the suit includes Vincent Ward, who was chief legal counsel to former Gov. Bill Richardson, who approved the current licensing policy. David H. Urias, a civil rights lawyer, and Martha Gomez of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, are also involved.

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