The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider whether an undocumented Mexican immigrant who attended law school and passed the State Bar can practice law
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.
Garcia was born in Mexico and brought to the United States by his parents when he was 17 months old, according to the Daily Journal, a legal newspaper.
“This is a guy who has been waiting 18 years for a green card, got through undergrad and law school and paid his own way, the kind of person we want as a citizen and as a lawyer,” Jerome Fishkin, Garcia’s attorney in the admissions case, told the SF Chronicle on Thursday.
The Supreme Court in Florida and New York are also reviewing similar cases.