Undocumented immigrants and their friends and supporters rallied Wednesday at the State Capitol, fresh from a political victory over New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.
The Governor’s bill repealing driver’s licenses for people here illegally was shot down in flames by Democrats in the majority on a House committee Tuesday night. Those political flames helped to heat up the rally during a sub-freezing lunch hour at the Capitol Wednesday.
A crowd of approximately 300 people pogoed and chanted during a sub-freezing lunch hour at the Capitol’s east entrance. Organizers called it an immigration rights rally – but the event was dominated by just one issue and it targeted just one person.
If the Governor was listening upstairs in her 4th floor office, her ears must have been burning, because the whole thing was pretty much directed at her.
It was the fourth time Martinez went to bat against the license law – and it was her fourth strikeout.
Rally goers said they are looking for some kind of compromise now between the Republican Governor and the Democrat-controlled legislature.
“We’re not criminals, we’re not here to harm people,” said protester Saul Prieto. “We’re here because we want to keep the driver’s licenses for everybody. We don’t want to single out people, we don’t want to discriminate. We’re trying so that everybody can have equal opportunity.”
“It only makes sense to let everybody have a driver’s license,” said protester Katherine Glickler. “Immigrants are here working. They need to get to work. They need to drop their kids off at school.”
The rally was well attended, especially for such a cold day, with people coming from across New Mexico.