New Mexico's governor tough on Democrats

NY Times:
If there is one trait of Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, that irks lawmakers on the opposite side of the aisle, it is her reluctance to negotiate. Ms. Martinez handles the Legislature in much the same way that she made a name for herself as a county prosecutor — a tough-as-nails approach that helped carry her all the way to the state’s highest government post.

On one of the defining issues of her tenure, the fight to repeal the state’s law allowing illegal immigrants to get a driver’s license, her persistence — or intransigence, depending on whom you ask — may have paid off. She immediately embraced a bipartisan bill introduced on Feb. 13 that would do just that; though to hear her tell it, she also gave in by supporting an alternate driver’s license for young immigrants benefiting from deferred deportation.

Ms. Martinez’s spokesman called it a “very reasonable compromise.” It comes at a perfect time for the governor, who is about to travel the country as an envoy of the Republican Party, recruiting Latinos to run for office or, at the very least, to give the party a second chance. (Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada has also been drafted for the same role.)

Ms. Martinez, 53, is by many measures the ideal ambassador: accomplished, charming and not afraid to speak her mind. She took office in 2011 as the nation’s first Latina governor, a distinction that alone qualifies her as a role model. In New Mexico, though, she has faced steady and increasingly vociferous criticism over the disconnect between the tone of her pronouncements and the substance of her policies.

While Ms. Martinez deplored Mitt Romney’s suggestion of “self-deportation” as a solution to illegal immigration, she also directed police officers in New Mexico to inquire about theimmigration status of those arrested, a move described by one immigrants’ advocate as “our mini S.B. 1070,” a reference to Arizona’s restrictive immigration law.
Self deportation is a humane way to deal with those in the country illegally.  It gives them a chance to apply for legal immigration status without a record  that would send them to the back of the line under the proposed reforms.  The opposition to it appears to be based more on the media animus toward Romney than any logical argument against it.  It is a much better alternative to regular deportation which is costly and and becomes a bureaucratic nightmare for the immigrant and the government.

Those who oppose it offer no legitimate alternative that will deter future illegal immigration.  It is the lack of a deterrent that is likely to scuttle the latest attempt at "comprehensive immigration reform."  Those who favor the latter insist that it is not amnesty, but without a deterrent stop ongoing illegal immigration what is the point other than creating more Democrat voters and inviting others to join them.  Refusing to inquire into immigration status during an arrest leads to a defacto amnesty.

The article seems fraught with contradictions.  It claims Martinez refuses to compromise yet leads with an example of compromise.  It fails to explain why the Governor has sought repeal of the driver's license law which has been used as a gateway to other abuses by illegals using their New Mexico license in other states.

I find her smart and well spoken.  I like her toughness.  New Mexico needed someone like her to clean up the mess left by Bill Richardson and Democrat corruption.


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