Citing a new state law allowing illegal immigrants to get their law licenses, the California Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for a Chico man to fulfill his dream of becoming an attorney despite his not being a U.S. citizen.
In a unanimous ruling, the state Supreme Court determined there is no reason to block Sergio Garcia’s bid for a California law license, now that a new law permits the state’s high court to give such licenses to immigrants who are not yet citizens. State legislators, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, pushed the legislation last fall as Garcia’s case was unfolding in the Supreme Court.
During arguments in the fall, the justices appeared unlikely to back Garcia because federal immigration law appeared to preclude giving a law license to illegal immigrants. But the court invited the Legislature to fix the problem if it wanted to solve the conflict with federal laws. In Thursday’s ruling, the Supreme Court concluded that there is no longer reason to deny a law license to Garcia, or other illegal immigrants in his position.