Being Called “Illeterate” for Speaking your Native Language in Your Native Land | The Case of New Mexico’s Recent Voter ID Policy

he New Mexico Motor Vehicles Division (MVD) has reportedly stopped issuing driver’s licenses or photo identification cards used for voting to so-called “illiterates” who only speak the Navajo language.

In a memo obtained by ProgressNowNM, Bureau Chief Aurora Lopez outlines the policy for MVD employees.

“Agents are not allowed to read the questions on driver’s applications to a customer,” Lopez writes. “They would [need] a letter stating that they have a condition that falls under the [Americans with Disabilities Act] for us to read the questions.”

“Applicants should be able to read the questions on their own since it raises question[s] as to how they obtained their driver’s license.” Lopez adds: “We are not able to issue license [sic] for illiterates.”

MVD staff confirmed to ProgressNowNM that they were asked to sign a copies of the email to show that they understood the policy change. ProgressNowNM was told that MVD staff could only provide Navajo language-only speakers with assistance in filling out basic information on the application, such as their name and address.

Read the full article | RAW STORY


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