Illegal Immigrant Can’t Be Lawyer

Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, August 2, 2012

Illegal immigrants are ineligible to practice law in California, President Obama’s Justice Department told the state’s high court in a rebuff to a man who was brought to the United States as a toddler and worked his way through college and law school.

Federal law bars the state from issuing an attorney’s license to Sergio C. Garcia and would also prohibit him from working as a lawyer, the Justice Department said in a filing Wednesday with the court, which had requested its opinion.

The 1996 law, which denies “public benefits” to illegal immigrants, was drafted to “preclude undocumented aliens from receiving commercial and professional licenses issued by states and the federal government,” Justice Department lawyers told the court.

They disagreed with the State Bar’s Committee of Bar Examiners and with state Attorney General Kamala Harris, both of whom have recommended that Garcia be admitted to the bar and said federal law leaves such issues up to the states. A similar case is pending in Florida.


His [Sergio Garcia’s] father, now a U.S. citizen, sponsored Garcia’s application for legal status and a green card in 1994. The government has found him eligible but put him on a waiting list for final approval, which could take at least another decade.

Garcia graduated from Cal Northern School of Law in Chico and passed the bar exam on his first try in 2009. But the state Supreme Court, which licenses attorneys in California, put his application on hold in May and said it would use the case to determine whether illegal immigrants are eligible to become lawyers.



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  • Sowillo14

    Wow. So Kamala says it’s a states right. Well that also means states like Arizona can detain illegals than. Which is it? You can’t have it both ways Kamala!

  • The Verdict of History

    Obama denies something to illegal aliens… WHAT??


    I suppose that even broken clocks are correct twice a day… 

    Secret service had better make sure nobody goes LA RAZA on Barry.

  • I guess the Administration calculated that if they advocated for it they would face too much criticism.  Good.  We’re having an impact.

    If McCain was president, he would have instructed his DoJ to advocate for the illegal alien.

  • Obama’s DOJ is arguing that the “undocumented” Garcia can’t be a lawyer, while at the same time, they essentially gave people like Garcia “administrative” amnesty and work permits via executive order.

    Either this is a blatant contradiction, or there’s a method to this madness.  If the latter, then I get the feeling that a lot of California lawyers give a lot of money to Democrats, and they don’t want the extra competition, so they’re making their wishes known.

    It’s like stop-and-frisk in New York City — People from the city who give money to Democrats are kept safe by it, people who are only expected to vote Democrat and never vote Republican feel the brunt of its enforcement. Guess which side wins.

    • crystal evans

      Garcia is 35 and is not eligible for Obama’s deferred action program. He can work as an independent contractor. But that is about it.

      •  Okay, that begs the next question.  He passed the bar in 2009, which means he was 32 years old.  Isn’t that a little old for a newbie lawyer?

        • crystal evans

          Remember, as an illegal immigrant, he is not eligible for federal or state financial aid. He had to work his way through college and law school and it took longer than normal.

          • “Worked” his way through law school? So he broke another law did he?

          • crystal evans

            He probably worked doing low wage menial jobs for employers who did not ask for anything to verify that he had lawful status in the US. Or he could have worked under the table. A lot of illegals work that way.

          • The__Bobster

            So his law school admits illegal brown squat monster invaders that they know can’t find jobs in their field of study? That sounds dishonest to me

          • I realize many invaders work “under the table for low wage jobs.” They still are breaking the law. What irony. We have a budding lawyer, who would like to practice law, but has himself violated and or disregarded numerous state and federal laws just by being here. One could only wonder what other laws he might choose to disregard when convenient.
            In any event, deport him. He can practice law in Mexico with his fellow raza.

          • crystal evans

            According to Garcia, his father applied for a green card for him back in 1994 and it is still pending and will be pending for about another decade or so.  So he does not see himself as an illegal immigrant.

          • crystal evans

            I agree with you. Attornies are supposed to be officers of the court. But how can you be an officer of the court if you are breaking the law?

          • I couldn’t care less how this illegal invading criminal “sees” it.  Moreover, I do not believe a word this criminal says, as he has already demonstrated a propensity for breaking the law. Applying for citizenship does not convey any special rights. He’s an illegal invader and should be deported asap.

  • WmarkW

    If he’d been in any other profession, the administration would have backed him.
    But with 50% of new California bar members not getting attorney jobs, they didn’t want THAT group turning against them.

  • Lots of JDs that can’t pass the bar probably were against this too, you know, people that look like they  could be Obama’s brothers and sisters.

    • crystal evans

      From what I have heard the California bar is one of the most difficult of the state bars. There are people who have taken the California bar 7 times and could not pass it. I have heard of one guy who is white that could not pass the California bar and eventually passed the Nevada bar and was licensed there.

  • Church_of_Jed

    Can’t Be a Lawyer…

    until our thinking on the subject evolves…

  • I’ve said before,  if it were illegal alien attorneys crossing the border instead of construction workers, cooks and landscapers,   there would have been a 2000 mile long, 50 foot high wall built a long time ago, so I’m hoping they let the illegal practice, it would be nice to see lawyers screwed over for a change

  • mobilebay

    Wow! DOJ says “no” to an ILLEGAL alien practicing law? They evidently misunderstood the question.