Nation & World News

California High Court OKs Law License For Undocumented Immigrant

By Scott Neuman on January 2nd, 2014

California’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that an undocumented immigrant from Mexico should receive a license to practice law in accordance with a new state law.

The ruling in favor of Sergio Garcia, 36, comes after California lawmakers passed a bill in October authorizing qualified applicants into the state bar, regardless of their immigration status. Garcia’s case was widely seen as a test of the viability of the new law.

The Associated Press says:

“The decision means Garcia can begin practicing law despite his immigration status.

“Garcia had challenged a 1996 federal law that bars people living in the country illegally from receiving professional licenses from government agencies or with the use of public funds, unless state lawmakers vote otherwise.”

Reuters says:

“The U.S. Department of Justice had opposed Garcia’s application, while California Attorney General Kamala Harris supported it. Neither office could immediately comment on Thursday.”

In October we reported:

“Garcia was born in Mexico. His parents brought him to the U.S. when he was 17 months old. He moved back and forth between the two countries until he came to California permanently when he was 17. At that time, immigration officials approved Garcia for a green card. That was possible because his dad had a green card. Garcia himself would have to wait to get his own green card until one became available.

“He’s been waiting for nearly 19 years.

“In the meantime, he worked his way through college, law school, and passed the state bar exam.

” I am 36 years old,’ he says. ‘This is the home I know. This is the country I know. And this is the country I want to work for and fight for.’ ”

Update at 3:50 p.m. ET:

Scott Shafer of member station KQED in San Francisco reports that despite the victory for Garcia, federal law still prohibits employers, including law firms from hiring undocumented immigrants.

Garica’s attorney, Jerome Fishkin says of his client: “He got no government loans, no scholarships. And this is why immigrants come to this country. So they can work and make better lives for themselves and their families.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

German Finance Minister Wolfang Schaeuble is depicted on a pro No poster (left) next to a graffiti (right) that read "No" (Nein) in German but also sounds like "Yes" in Greek. The photo was taken in Athens, on Sunday.

Greeks Decide The Fate Of Their Economy In Crucial Referendum

The vote is on an international bailout that includes harsh austerity measures. The Athens government is instead pushing for a “no” vote that would give it a mandate to try to negotiate debt relief.


U.S. players run drills during a practice for the Women's World Cup soccer final under the open roof of BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on Saturday. The U.S. is scheduled to play Japan on Sunday.

U.S. Women Head Into World Cup Finals With Dominant Defense

The U.S. hasn’t given up a goal since its opener against Australia — a stunning scoreless streak of 513 minutes. Now the team meets Japan for a hotly-anticipated rematch of the last World Cup finals.


Matt Stonie (right) is crowned winner of the annual Fourth of July 2015 Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Brooklyn, New York, today. Stonie defeated eight-time champion Joey Chestnut 62-60, according to local media.

Matt Stonie Downs 62 Hot Dogs For Coney Island Title

The new champion, who came in second last year in the annual contest put on by Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, bested eight-time champ Joey “Jaws” Chestnut by two dogs on Saturday.


Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi speaks during a forum on strategic planning, in Tunis, in June. Essebsi has declared a state of emergency his office says is aimed at dealing with the threat of Islamist extremists.

Week After Beach Attack, Tunisia Declares State Of Emergency

Beji Caid Essebsi’s office says the president needs the expanded powers to deal with extremists following the attack in Sousse that killed 38 foreign tourists.


Lawrence Herkimer, The Father Of Modern Cheerleading, Dies At 89

He invented the pompom and the iconic “Herkie jump” that remains a staple of cheering squads to this day. And his National Cheerleading Association trains 150,000 cheerleaders a year.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments