Immigrant fights to become licensed attorney in California

09/04/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

San Francisco – An immigrant living the US illegally is fighting to be granted a law license in California. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Sergio Garcia has requested that the state Supreme Court grant him the license with his attorneys arguing that Congress meant to exempt attorney licenses, which are issued by courts, from a 1996 federal law that prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving government agency administered professional licenses or those paid for with government funds.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris and state bar officials purport that in cases like Garcia’s, citizenship status is not a determinant in their obtaining a license if an applicant has passed the state bar exam, graduated law school, and does not have a criminal history. A U.S. Department of Justice lawyer says otherwise.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Tenney is quoted by the AP as stating, “A law license is a professional license… Congress meant to prohibit all professional licenses.”

Garcia, who first came to the US as an infant, applied for citizenship in 1994. The California Supreme Court has 90 days to rule following arguments heard in his case on Wednesday.

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – San Francisco Legal News

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