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California Supreme Court To Rule on Undocumented Immigrant's Law License

June 06, 2012 (1 min read)

"In 2009, Garcia passed the California bar exam on his first try.  But 2009 was also the first year the state bar started asking applicants their immigration status, and Garcia’s application was flagged for review. University of Houston immigration law expert Michael Olivas says a 1996 federal law prohibits undocumented immigrants from obtaining benefits like professional licenses, unless a state law explicitly allows it.   "There's not been a case where any unauthorized person has completed law school, sat for the bar, passed it, and presented his credentials for admission to the bar," Olivas says.  But in California, Olivas believes the state bar has the authority to decide. "In this case, they could have said no, in which case I would have to concede that they have the authority to say no. They also have the authority to say yes."  Sergio Garcia concedes gaining admission to the bar may be a long shot. But having waited this long,  he's not giving up." - KQED, May 30, 2012.