The Department of Homeland Security says that if the governor and State Legislature can agree on a fix state drivers licenses to comply with REAL ID, the federal government will grant a waiver for implementation. That is from a news release from the four Democratic members of the congressional delegation and comes after months of confusion and political grandstanding on REAL ID compliance. The four said in the release that they met with DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently. In it, Mayorkas pledged if an agreement can be found, a waiver can still happen. Right now, New Mexico drivers licenses will not be suitable identification for federal facilities as of Jan.
New Mexicans may not be able to use their state-issued driver’s licenses to board airplanes by next year, according to a letter from the federal Department of Homeland Security. The federal agency recently rejected a waiver the state applied for to comply with the federal REAL ID Act. Congress passed the law 10 years ago in an attempt to shore state driver’s licenses into a national I.D. program follow the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. The Associated Press first reported on the DHS letter, which was addressed to New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department Secretary Demesia Padilla. “New Mexico has not provided adequate justification for continued noncompliance with the REAL ID standards that would warrant granting your request for another extension,” the letter reads.
An audit of Department of Homeland Security funds used for a border program showed that some grant money went to funding overtime for upper management in the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s office. The audit of the use of funds by the sheriff’s office was conducted after a new sheriff was elected and “became aware of the issues.” The office of State Auditor Tim Keller released the forensic auditor’s report on Monday morning. The full report on the findings of the forensic audit is available at the bottom of this post. “The use of public funds along our border should be transparent and accounted for no differently than all other tax dollars that are spent in our state,” Keller said in a statement.