Judge orders New Mexico Secretary of Tax and Revenue to halt Governor Martinez's program

SANTA FE, NM - This week, Judge Singleton of the First Judicial District in Santa Fe ordered the New Mexico Secretary of Tax and Revenue to put a stop to the so-called "Residency Certification Program." The Temporary Restraining Order prohibits all aspects of the unlawful 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 (Freedman Boyd) filed suit on August 24, 2011 against the Secretary of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, seeking to stop the targeting of immigrants in the state. A hearing to determine whether to grant a Preliminary Injunction has been set for September 13, 2011.

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."

View the signed Temporary Restraining Order here.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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