New Mexico Driver’s License Ring Bust Reveals National Operation

By: Rachel Pulaski

In 2003, under Bill Richardson’s administration, New Mexico decided to turn a blind eye when it came to federal deportation laws.  The state started allowing illegals to reside and work in the state and in 2003 NM passed a law to make it legal for illegals to drive.   Despite public discontent for the law with a poll showing 70% of the state’s residents opposing it, the Democrats in the state continuously refuse to repeal it.  Since NM is a border state, issuing driver’s licenses to illegals is a “recipe for fraud” that could only lead to the inevitable……fraud.

Luis Raul Collazo-Medrano

Nine people have been arrested this week after authorities busted one of the “most sophisticated” driver’s license fraud rings.  The bust revealed fraudulent documents that led to hundreds of NM licenses to be obtained illegally over the past couple years.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the investigation is being led by the Taxation and Revenue Department that oversees the New Mexico’s Motor Vehicle Division.  The department claims “without a shadow of a doubt” there are other rings operating in the state.  Albuquerque Journal reported:


“This is one of the largest and most sophisticated driver’s license fraud rings we have uncovered,” state Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla said at a news conference here Wednesday.

Padilla was joined by 9th Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler, who said the ring — run by a family of Mexican nationals and their colleagues — used eight rented houses in Portales and Clovis over a two-year period to help 54 illegal aliens obtain New Mexico licenses

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the ringleader Collazo-Medrano was recruiting illegals from all over the country:

Chandler said Collazo-Medrano recruited illegal aliens living in Illinois, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, and charged them $4,000 apiece to transport them to New Mexico, obtain the illegal documents and get a driver’s license. Fifty-four such licenses have been linked directly to the eight addresses in Portales and Clovis, and helped illegal aliens from Mexico, El Salvador, Brazil, Guatemala, Uruguay and Honduras get licenses.

“We’re going to go back to the Legislature and we’re going to ask them one more time, ‘Please see the mess that you’ve created for us.’” Padilla said, adding that it’s costing the state a huge amount of money to investigate and prosecute such crimes.

The fix, she said, is for the state to repeal the laws that allow illegals to obtain New Mexico driver’s licenses.

This law is not only a security threat to New Mexico it is also a national security threat.  While terrorists continue to cross our border from Mexico, New Mexico gives them the red carpet treatment and, more importantly,  an indentification.

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