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Last updated 6:30AM ET
September 19, 2018
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Judge order continued halt to N.M. drivers license program (Listen)
(KSFR) -
A district court judge in Santa Fe has decided to issue a preliminary injunction, prohibiting the Martinez administration from continuing a program aimed at recertifying foreign nationals to hold their New Mexico drivers licenses.

Judge Sarah Singleton ordered both sides to come back in a week with compromise language for a recertification program that meets the court's requirements. After she issues a preliminary restraining order, the judge will consider a full evidentiary hearing on the matter, probably sometime next year.

In the meantime, the judge will allow the state to investigate why the mail could not be delivered to nearly a third of the foreign nationals sent a letter to appear in person for recertification.

The judge said the state offered compelling evidence of the possibility of drivers license fraud and has the right to pursue investigations into that evidence. At the same time, she said the state did not meet the test of conducting its recertification program in the "least constrictive" way. By example, she said the state singled out a one class of people -- foreign nationals -- when the possibility of fraud exists among other groups as well.

KSFR's Charles Maynard was at the courthouse. Listen.

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