Illegal Immigrant Can Practice Law in US Says California Court

By noreply@blogger.com (Mike Mish Shedlock)


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Those looking for absolute absurdity in California at the start of the new year did not have to wait long.

CNN reports No green card? No problem — undocumented immigrant can practice law, court says.

Sergio Garcia’s parents brought him to the United States from Mexico nearly two decades ago. He’s been waiting for a green card ever since.

But there’s one thing the undocumented immigrant no longer has to wait for, according to a California Supreme Court ruling on Thursday: his law license.

Garcia can be admitted to California’s state bar and legally practice as a lawyer there, the court ruled.

“How is Garcia supposed to uphold ‘the laws of the United States’ when he is, by his mere presence in this country, in violation of federal law?” CNN contributor Ruben Navarrette asks in an opinion column he wrote on the case in September. “How does he pledge to show respect for ‘the courts of justice’ when, for most of his life, he has lived here in defiance of the rule of law? And how can he claim that he won’t ‘mislead’ a judge or judicial officer when living in the United States illegally requires deception on a daily basis?”

“With today’s ruling, the California Supreme Court reaffirms the Committee of Bar Examiners’ finding as not a political decision but rather one grounded in the law,” California State Bar President Luis J. Rodriguez said in a written statement Thursday.

Case could set precedent

Critics have argued that giving Garcia a license wouldn’t make sense. How can someone without legal status become licensed as a lawyer, whose job entails upholding the law?

Larry DeSha, former prosecutor for the State Bar of California, said Garcia shouldn’t be given his law license because his immigration status would be in violation of a civil immigration statute and could affect his ability to represent his clients.

“In the immigration debate, we must separate the individual from the idea. The individual — Garcia — looks like a keeper. The idea — that one who has lived most of his life outside the law can practice law — is problematic,” Navarrette wrote in his September column.

The Obama administration originally opposed Garcia’s admission to the bar, saying that federal law demanded that legislation be enacted granting an undocumented immigrant the right to practice, according to a summary published by lawprofessors.typepad.com.

But the Justice Department backed off in November after California’s governor signed a new law that did just …read more

Source: Donkeyrock_BlurBlog

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