POLITICS

Susana Martínez Draws Ire of Immigrant Advocates in New Mexico

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez outlines her legislative priorities to New Mexico's 112 lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan.  18, 2011 in Santa Fe, N.M.  Martinez is reaching out to Democrats as the Legislature returns to work. Martinez used her State of the State speech Tuesday to call for a bipartisan approach to New Mexico's pressing problems, including a $400 million budget shortfall.  (AP Photo/The New Mexican,  Jane Phillips)

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez outlines her legislative priorities to New Mexico's 112 lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011 in Santa Fe, N.M. Martinez is reaching out to Democrats as the Legislature returns to work. Martinez used her State of the State speech Tuesday to call for a bipartisan approach to New Mexico's pressing problems, including a $400 million budget shortfall. (AP Photo/The New Mexican, Jane Phillips)

Just a few weeks into her term, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martínez already has a major fight on her hands.

Immigrant rights groups are planning to rally at the Capitol in protest of the Republican governor's immigration policies.

Somos Un Pueblo Unido, an immigrants rights based in Sante Fe, is helping to organize Monday's rally at the Capitol against what it considers anti-immigrant policies.

The planned demonstration comes a week after Martínez, who became the first Latina governor in the country after the November elections, issued an executive order requiring state law enforcement to check the immigration status of criminal suspects.

Administration officials say state agency law enforcement will ask about the immigration status of those arrested for crimes, but that won't happen routinely when state police stop someone for a traffic violation.

Still, some Democratic lawmakers have objected to the governor's executive order, saying it will lead to racial profiling by law enforcement.

Martínez also wants the Legislature to repeal a law allowing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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