Richardson's stats misleading in defense of immigrant driver's licenses

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By Ralph Damiani

There is a political truism where one never lets the whole truth get in the way of a good story. That is a model Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson seems to be following.Recently the governor pointed to a substantial drop in uninsured motorists in New Mexico and said that his decision four years ago to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license is a primary reason.Well, not exactly – and the governor’s use of his statistics is very misleading.The Associated Press reports that the statewide decline in uninsured motorists has happened mainly because of a 2001 law that established an up-to-date computer database of insurance coverage that allowed the state to better police its requirement for liability insurance on cars and trucks.It has nothing to do with illegal aliens. But in today’s political climate, the governor’s claim made national headlines. While it got him some attention, it is simply not true.

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