Bar Associations

California Supreme Court Considers Whether to Grant Law License to Illegal Immigrant

The California Supreme Court is considering whether to grant a law license to an illegal immigrant, a paralegal who came to the United States as a young child.

The immigrant, Sergio Garcia, came to the United States from Mexico with his parents when he was 17 months old, the Los Angeles Times reports, citing information from the Daily Journal (sub. req.). He has applied for legal status.

The supreme court asked the State Bar of California to show cause why Garcia should be admitted to practice after the bar’s Committee of Bar Examiners revealed his immigration status in a routine request for license approval. The court also invited amicus briefs on the issue.

Garcia’s lawyer, Jerome Fishkin, tells the Recorder that bar requirements do not require citizenship or residency. They lawyer said he suspects other illegal immigrants are practicing law in the state because they obtained licenses before the bar began asking about citizenship.

In a similar case, the Florida Supreme Court is considering whether an illegal immigrant can get a law license. The Florida State law grad, José Godínez-Samperio, also came to the United States from Mexico with his parents as a child.

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