Calif. Supreme Court rules undocumented immigrant can practice law

By Kyle Johnson,

The California Supreme Court has ruled that Sergio Garcia, who does not currently hold a green card, can be allowed to practice law and be given a legal license.

The court originally agreed to hear the case back in 2012 after Garcia was denied from practicing law as he did not meet admission rules because he is not a legal resident, reports NBC News.

The State Bar of California backed him early on deciding that just because he wasn't a legal citizen didn't mean he couldn't practice law.

"I'm speechless, tired, relieved," Garcia said on Thursday. "I'm glad it's over." The 36-year-old came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was a young child and later as a teen. He was, however, approved at 17 to begin naturalization, but an application backlog has left him without an approved visa and he will likely still be waiting for several more years.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the high court cited a law that was passed last year in California as its reason for siding with Garcia.

Though Garcia isn't quite free and clear totally as the court noted it wasn't sure he could actually legally work for himself due to his status and wrote, "We assume that a licensed undocumented immigrant will make all necessary inquiries and take appropriate steps to comply with applicable legal restrictions and will advise potential clients of any possible adverse or limiting effect the attorney's immigration status may pose."


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