How can a person who is in the country illegally and thus a law breaker, become an officer of the court who swears an oath to uphold the law? It’s possible in the zany progressive state of California.
The LA Times reports the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that a Mexican immigrant without a green card may be licensed as a lawyer, though his employment prospects will be limited.
In an opinion by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the state’s high court said a law passed late last year by the Legislature enabled the court to admit Sergio C. Garcia, 36, to the legal profession.
The Legislature passed the law after the court indicated in a hearing in September that it was bound by federal restrictions to deny Garcia a license. The federal law says immigrants without permission to be in the U.S. should be denied professional licenses unless state governments took action to override the ban.
“We conclude that the fact that an undocumented immigrant’s presence in this country violates federal statutes is not itself a sufficient or persuasive basis for denying undocumented immigrants, as a class, admission to the State Bar,” the chief justice wrote.
The court said Garcia, who has been in the U.S. most of his life, will be able to practice law free of charge or outside the U.S. It is disputed, however, whether he could legally work for himself as an independent contractor and charge fees, the court said.
Originally posted at The Last Tradition