New Mexicans have probably experienced this at least once: people wondering if you need a passport to get here, or questioning whether our state is even part of the US. That’s exactly what happened to a man trying to get a marriage license in Washington, D.C.
“All my friends and family in California ask me: ‘You’re in Mexico?’ No, I’m in New Mexico, it’s part of the United States,” said local Larry Idtensohn.
“When they asked where we’re from we said, ‘New Mexico,'” said local Jared Pirkle. “And they said, ‘Mexico? You speak good English,’ and we said, ‘No. New Mexico, the state.'”
“One of my friends, she was afraid to text me because she thought I lived in Mexico and thought I was going to school in Mexico when I was like, ‘No, I’m going to school in New Mexico, it’s a state, in America,'” said UNM student Juliette Chavez. “So she was afraid to text me because she was afraid that she would have to pay, or I would have to pay international texting or data rates or whatever.”
Recently, it happened to former New Mexico Secretary of State Candidate Gavin Clarkson on his way to get a marriage license in D.C.
“And I handed them my New Mexico drivers license and the clerk looks at it and says, ‘Excuse me,’ and walks back to the back,” said Clarkson. “About ten minutes later she comes back up and says, ‘I’m sorry, my supervisor said we cannot accept international drivers licenses, do you have your New Mexico passport?'”
Trying to convince people that New Mexico is a state has been such an ongoing joke, “New Mexico Magazine” has its own feature called “Missing: New Mexico’s Statehood,” where New Mexicans share their own experiences.
Another group made a parody video about this ongoing struggle.
“Ah, you’re from New Mexico,” said a man in the parody video. “That’s a part of Mexico, right?”
But what New Mexicans want everyone to know: you can find us on the map, right next to Arizona and Texas.
“That star right there, that’s New Mexico’s star,” said Clarkson.
Clarkson said the marriage license ordeal ended after 20 minutes. He said he was eventually able to get the license and marry the woman of his dreams.