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CA Supreme Court: Undocumented Immigrant Can Practice Law

Colin Hale |
January 2, 2014 | 5:37 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Sergio C. Garcia/via Flickr Creative Commons
Sergio C. Garcia/via Flickr Creative Commons
The California Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a Mexican immigrant without proper documentation can practice law in the state.

Sergio C. Garcia passed the California State Bar four years ago and is currently waiting for his green card application to be approved by the federal government. The ruling by the court was based on a law passed by the California State Legislature last year that allowed for immigrants like Garcia to practice law in the state.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Garcia came to the United States when he was 17 months old and returned to Mexico when he was 9 years old.  He re-entered the country illegally when he was 17.  

Garcia applied for and was granted a visa petition in 1995, but has not been issued one due to a massive federal backlog.

Garcia went on to graduate from high school, university, and law school in California. The Committee of Bar Examiners, which approves or denies applicants to sit for the bar exam, approved Garcia and "recommended that he be admitted to the bar." The committee is tasked with approving or denying applications for the bar exam based on several criteria, including moral terpitude.

Read more about the ruling in favor of Sergio C. Garcia at the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Christian Science Monitor.

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