Martinez still wants to repeal driver's license law

Posted at: 01/23/2013 5:27 PM
Updated at: 01/23/2013 5:33 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Word of a possible compromise on driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants may be a little bit premature.

Governor Susana Martinez said Wednesday she still wants the legislature to repeal the state law that allows the licenses, after talking about a possible compromise on Tuesday.

At a news conference on Tuesday Martinez said she might consider signing a bill creating a driving permit for illegal immigrants as long as it couldn't be used for I.D. or to get another license in another state.

"If we have something that proposes that and takes care of public safety, I'm certainly willing to take a look at it," Martinez said.

Fast forward to Wednesday: Another news conference, same issue.

"Everywhere I travel throughout this state, I'll tell you the number one issue has been are you going to fight for the repeal of this law - and yes - I'm going to continue to fight for the repeal of this law," Martinez said.

The problem is the growing black market trade of racketeers peddling New Mexico licenses to illegal immigrants for thousands of dollars - and many of the buyers don't even live in the state. Martinez has said repeatedly that getting rid of the law is the way to stop it.

But in her latest comments Wednesday she didn't slam the door all the way shut.

"That doesn't mean that we won't get various versions of this law from various different legislators that will actually pass both sides of the House and the Senate," Martinez said. "So I can get various versions and then choose from those versions."

Mixed message? Maybe. But legislative leaders are pretty good at understanding where the Governor is coming from at this point, and what they are hearing is probably not as important as what they're not hearing.

What they're not hearing is "My way or no way."