Immigrant (entered illegally twice now) without green card asks CA top court for law license

Article subtitle: 
In the meantime, he has been working as a motivational speaker and an independent contractor.
Article author: 
Maura Dolan
Article publisher: 
Los Angeles Times
Article date: 
3 September 2013
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

The California Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday on whether a Mexican immigrant in the United States without legal permission who graduated from law school and passed the bar should be licensed as a lawyer.

Sergio C. Garcia, 36,  has been trying to get his California law license for four years. The State Bar of California and Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris support his bid.

But the Obama administration has told the state high court that federal law prohibits giving a license or “public benefit” to “an unlawfully present alien.”

The court is expected to decide Garcia’s fate within 90 days after Wednesday’s hearing.

Garcia immigrated [illegally] from Mexico with his family when he was 17 months old. He returned to Mexico when he was 9 and  [illegally]  reentered the U.S. without authorization when he was 17 ...

Because of his immigration status, the California Supreme Court decided to review his application rather than approve his admission as the bar recommended.

Garcia described himself in an interview Tuesday as “a man with a dream and very good work ethic” ...

He said he would like to become a civil litigator and hopes to get a book published about his efforts.

Garcia’s father, an agricultural worker who obtained U.S. citizenship, applied for a green card for his son in 1994. The application was approved the next year, but Garcia is still waiting to receive the card ...

 June 11, 2012 - Los Angeles Times

Undocumented Chico man passed the bar, but can he practice law?

Sergio C. Garcia's case is pending before the California Supreme Court ...

As an adult, Garcia worked full time at a grocery store while attending college ...

John Eastman, a law professor at Chapman University in Orange, said it's unlikely the court will rule in Garcia's favor.

"I think existing federal law makes it very problematic for him to get a license to practice law," he said. It is illegal for anyone to hire Garcia. And federal law makes it illegal to grant him a professional license without state legislation, he said.