Law License Granted To Immigrant Living In U.S. Illegally



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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, January 02, 2014

The decision Thursday means Sergio Garcia can begin practicing law despite his immigration status.

Garcia had challenged a 1996 federal law that bars people living in the country illegally from receiving professional licenses from government agencies or with the use of public funds, unless state lawmakers vote otherwise.

Supreme Court Press Release

Shortly after the court heard arguments in the case, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a state law that authorized the granting of the license. The new law went into effect Jan. 1.

Garcia arrived in the U.S. illegally 20 years ago to pick almonds with his father and worked at a grocery store and in the fields while attending school.

California Supreme Court Decision On Granting Law License To Sergio Garcia

AP -- 9 A.M. 

The California Supreme Court will look into whether to grant a law license to a man who graduated law school and passed the state bar exam, but is living illegally in the United States. 

The decision Thursday comes in the case of Sergio Garcia, who is challenging a 1996 law that bars people living in the country illegally from receiving "professional licenses" from government agencies, or with the use of public funds, unless state lawmakers vote otherwise.

The case has pitted the Obama administration against state officials who support Garcia's application.

At a hearing in September the court appeared reluctant to grant Garcia's license, saying the law prohibits them from doing so unless the Legislature acts.

Garcia arrived in the U.S. illegally 20 years ago to pick almonds with his father.

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