Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee amended HB 78 to allow licenses for undocumented immigrants while increasing the penalties for license fraud.


Updated 7:00 pm: Today, a sweeping amendment to HB 78 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 6-5, mostly along party lines.

The amendment stipulates that instead of denying licenses to foreign nationals without proper documentation, licenses issued to people without social security numbers will be given a sunset date. All foreign nationals can reapply, using proof of residency, a photo ID (potentially issued by the country of citizenship, even if it's not the US) and a tax number.

At one point during the hearing, Andy Nuñez, DTS-Doña Ana, said parts of his original bill had been "eviscerated."

HB 78 passed the House as a floor substitute.

The original bill (pdf) outlawed driver's licenses for anyone without a Social Security number--but in part because that language also would have barred legal immigrants and foreign nationals from obtaining driver's licenses, amended it. The floor substitute (pdf) allowed for the issue of licenses to legal immigrants for the duration of their visas or other immigration documents.