Thursday, September 1, 2011
Today, a judge in New Mexico ordered the New Mexico Secretary of Tax and Revenue to put a stop to the so-called “Residency Certification Program.” The Temporary Restraining Order bars implementation of the re-certification program, including the state’s ability to single out certain individuals and to cancel driver’s licenses. On behalf of a group of New Mexico legislators and residents of New Mexico, MALDEF and the New Mexico law firm of Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Ives & Duncan filed suit against the Secretary of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, seeking to stop the targeting of immigrants in the state. After a hearing, the court entered a TRO.
NM Gov. Susana Martinez favors changing state law to bar undocumented immigrants from being eligible for a driver's license.
MALDEF Staff Attorney, Martha Gomez, stated, “Today's order halting the MVD's in-person interviews and the cancellation of drivers' licenses is an important protection for the constitutional rights of all New Mexicans, and particularly for the thousands of individuals who were unfairly targeted. MALDEF will continue to fight throughout this legal process to obtain a final end to this licensing scheme and to restore the rule of law that the execute branch has co-opted.”
David Urias of Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Ives & Duncan stated, “The Order issued today by Judge Singleton is an important step towards protecting the constitutional rights of people who are being commanded by the MVD to come before it, even though the MVD has no information that any of these people did anything wrong when they applied for their drivers’ licenses. We are confident that, ultimately, the entire Program created by the MVD will be struck down by the Court.”