State supreme courts on opposite sides of the country will debate whether law school grads brought to the U.S. illegally as children can practice law here.Sergio Garcia’s parents brought him to the country illegally when he was 17 months old. He eventually passed the California bar exam on his first try and was sworn in two years later, the Los Angeles Times reported.
But only a few weeks later, his life as a lawyer ended. Despite the fact that the State Bar of California certified Garcia after he met the organisation’s strict requirements, the state’s supreme court needs to determine whether he is allowed to practice law.
The state’s highest court looked into Garcia’s confirmation after news reports questioned his immigration status.
“I think existing federal law makes it very problematic for him to get a licence to practice law,” Chapman University law professor John Eastman told the Times. Eastman added that since it’s illegal for anyone to hire Garcia, the future looks bleak.
A similar case is making headlines in Florida.
When Jose Godinez-Samperio applied to take the Florida bar exam, the state’s board of examiners granted him a waiver since he couldn’t prove his immigration status, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reported.
After he passed the test, the bar organisation asked the Florida Supreme Court for an advisory opinion on whether Godinez-Samperio is eligible for admission.
It’s unlikely the courts will vote in favour of Garcia and Godinesz-Samperio since federal law forbids knowingly hiring illegal immigrants, Law Blog reported.
But citizens who hire independent contractors aren’t legally bound to ask about immigration status, which might provide a loophole for the men.
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