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Protecting Families And Children In New Mexico

Our Catholic Conference of Bishops and Catholics in parishes across the state of New Mexico played a key role in preserving driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, which are key to the well-being of families and children. In New Mexico, legislation is regularly introduced to repeal an established law that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses. Driver's licenses are essential to the well-being of families, and especially children, 100,000 of whom have at least one parent who is an immigrant. Driver's licenses allow parents to get to work, families to the doctor and grocery store, and children to school. They also serve as state-issued identification, an important tool for immigrant parents. We are proud that the law remains intact, due in no small part to the efforts of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Catholic parishes, and community organizations which receive funding from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, including and Partnership for Community Action. We worked together and with other groups to educate community members and politicians, communicate, advocate, and ultimately, transform the hearts and minds of legislators, allowing 90,000 families in our state to keep their driver's license. Together, we have protected this basic right--and even more importantly, the well-being of families and children.