California State Supreme Court to decide if illegal immigrant can practice law
The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider whether the State Bar has the authority to license an undocumented immigrant and allow him to become a practicing lawyer.
In their weekly closed-door conference, the justices unanimously decided to consider the case of Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who graduated from Chico State University, a Florida law school and passed the State Bar exam in July 2009 but has been stalled in his bid to secure his California law license.
A State Bar committee concluded that Garcia should be admitted to practice law in California, but the issue is up to the state Supreme Court. The justices indicated they must explore a host of legal issues to resolve the question. They asked for legal arguments from a range of groups, including California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the U.S. government.
May 17, 2012
Contra Costa Times
There are questions about whether illegal immigrants, under federal immigration law, have a legal right to be approved for professional licenses such as those permitting the practice of law in a state. In its order, the California Supreme Court asked for legal arguments on whether it has the authority to permit Garcia to be licensed under that federal law.
The Daily Journal, a legal newspaper, reported last year that Garcia was brought to the U.S. by his parents at 17 months old and has been waiting for more than a decade for a green card. Garcia, according to the account, is being sponsored for legal status by a relative.