New Mexico senator seeks clarification on Arizona law - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

New Mexico senator seeks clarification on Arizona law

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Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2010 12:07 pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman has asked the Justice Department to determine whether Arizona's immigration law could require New Mexico residents to carry passports in the neighboring state.

New Mexico's senior senator notes Arizona's law allows people to show state-issued identification to prove they're legally in the United States.

But New Mexico doesn't check whether people are in the country legally before they get drivers' licenses.

Bingaman says in a letter to U.S. Attorney Eric Holder that Arizona police could detain residents of New Mexico and four other states while verifying their status.

Bingaman says that could mean U.S. citizens are detained on what he terms "little more than a hunch."

He also says detention and investigation would likely last longer than a brief license check.

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