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Undocumented Immigrant Can Practice Law In California

Photo Credit: Flickr Public Domain

Photo Credit: Flickr Public Domain

The California Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that an undocumented man living in the United States who graduated from law school and passed the state bar exam should be granted a legal license. The decision means Sergio Garcia can begin practicing law despite his immigration status.
“I’m speechless, tired, relieved,” Garcia, 36, said after the ruling came down following his nearly five-year battle to obtain a law license. “I’m glad it’s over.”
On May 16, 2012 the California Supreme Court announced it would hear his case and it quickly became high-profile. Last fall the California state legislature passed a bill making it legal for an undocumented immigrant to get a law license. Governor Brown signed AB1024 on October 5, 2013, and the law went into effect January 1, 2014.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Garcia’s parents brought him to the U.S. from Mexico as a baby, then returned to Mexico when he was 9. When Garcia was 17, he crossed the border illegally back into California, where he picked almonds in the fields with his father and worked at a grocery store while attending school. He graduated from high school, attended Chico State University and graduated from Cal Northern School of Law in 2009. His parents had never set foot inside a schoolroom, yet Garcia passed the California bar on his first try.
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