Sergio Garcia, a recent law school graduate who has passed the State Bar in California, is also here as an undocumented immigrant. And he wants to practice law.
The California Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments about the landmark case. No matter the decision reached, it will stand as a precedent that many other states are expected to follow (including New York and Florida, where undocumented law school graduates have been denied the ability to practice in the past).
Garcia is 36 years old and was recommended for a law license in 2011. After questions were raised about his status, the federal government formally opposed him being granted the ability to practice law. Others, though, including Kamala Harris, State Attorney General, favor him being granted that ability.
Garcia’s case also serves a critique of legal immigration in America: his father, a naturalized U.S. citizen himself, applied for a green card for Garcia in 1994. Garcia is still waiting for it to come.
Some are opposing his being a lawyer on the basis that is illegal to pay an undocumented immigrant under federal law. They ignore the fact that he is trying to pursue residency legally and that it is just taking the American system a very long time, through no fault of his own.