DOJ Opposes Sergio Garcia's Admission to State Bar

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on August 06, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The United States Department of Justice is giving its opinion on the pending California Supreme Court case of Sergio Garcia.

Unfortunately for Garcia's case, the DOJ isn't in favor of illegal immigrants practicing law in the United States, reports The Wall Street Journal.

We've discussed the case on our blog before. Sergio Garcia came to the United States from Mexico illegally as a child. Since then, he put himself through law school and even passed the California bar exam.

The problem is that he has not been admitted to the state bar. Now, with the issue before the California Supreme Court, numerous questions are being raised, including issues of jurisdiction of the state courts versus the federal courts on matters involving the state licensing of illegal aliens.

In its brief, the DOJ claimed that the employment of aliens is a federal issue and not one to be decided by state courts. While the issuance of a state bar license wouldn't necessarily give Garcia the full authority to hold a job in the United States, it would certainly have implications on his employability. After all, he'd be able to appear in court on behalf of clients and earn a living working as a solo.

Or would he? The Department of Justice doesn't seem to think so. In its brief, it raised that argument, saying that federal law would nevertheless prohibit Garcia from practicing law, even if given the license.

This is an interesting case and certainly one to watch. The issues go far beyond the issuance of a law license to an illegal alien. Now, with the DOJ's brief, we're looking at the reaches of state court's authority on matters of licensing and employability.

Will we see this go to the U.S. Supreme Court? It's not out of the realm of possibility.

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