State Bar PRESIDENT ISSUES STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT’S GRANTING OF ADMISSION TO UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT
FRANCISCO, Jan. 2, 2014 – The State Bar of California released a statement today following the California Supreme Court’s ruling In re Sergio C. Garcia on Admission, S202512, granting admission of an undocumented immigrant to the bar:
"With today's ruling, the California Supreme Court reaffirms the Committee of Bar Examiners' finding as not a political decision but rather one grounded in the law," said State Bar President Luis J. Rodriguez.
The Committee of Bar Examiners found that Sergio Garcia had met all the requirements to receive a law license in California and recommended the Supreme Court admit him to the bar.
The court asked for a briefing to address the question of whether Garcia’s undocumented status precluded his admission. The court noted that while federal law generally restricts an undocumented immigrant’s ability to obtain a professional license, a state law that went into effect Jan. 1 has removed that potential obstacle to Garcia’s admission. The new state law also “reflects that the Legislature and the Governor have concluded that the admission of an undocumented immigrant who has met all the qualifications for admission to the State Bar is fully consistent with this state’s public policy, and…we find no basis to disagree with that conclusion.”
State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme
Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more
than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the
State Bar. By January 2014, membership reached 247,000.