License to Dream

On Thursday the California Supreme Court granted Sergio Garcia his law license, and  in its landmark ruling, held unanimously that undocumented immigrants can be admitted to the practice of law. The decision comes on the heels of Assembly Bill 1024, which passed by overwhelming majorities in the state legislature this fall and ensures that a qualified individual cannot be denied a law license simply because of his or her immigration status. California thus becomes the first state in the nation to protect the rights of all individuals who work hard and pass the bar exam to be admitted to the practice of law.

With this decision, Sergio Garcia’s dream of becoming a lawyer—and the dreams of countless other young people like him in California—is finally a reality. It has taken many years to achieve this victory. Like many DREAMers, Garcia came here with his parents as a small child—only 17 months old.  He lived in California until he was nine, when the family moved back to Mexico for several years, and then returned again when Garcia was 17.  Although the federal government has approved an immigration petition that his father filed for him, because of backlogs, Garcia has been waiting 19 years for a visa to become available so he can finally get his green card. 

Sergio Garcia graduated from high school and college, received his law degree from the Cal Northern School of Law in May 2009, and passed the bar exam on his first try that same year. The California State Bar did an extensive investigation of his background and found that he possessed the good moral character required for admission.  But until today’s decision, it was unclear whether his hard work would pay off or whether, because of immigration status, his schooling would amount to a bridge to nowhere.

Among the many groups and individuals that have championed his cause and stood up to support his admission to practice, is  the State Bar of California, the California Attorney General, seven prominent California law school deans, and the ACLU and other civil rights organizations. Today’s decision is a victory for fairness and equal opportunity. It tells young people across the state that they will be judged for their accomplishments and character—and not dismissed just because of how they came here as children. It is a message that uplifts us all, as we help to create the future we want to see for ourselves, our families and our nation.   

The ACLU filed an amicus brief in support of Sergio's admission to the California bar.

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Sorry but I think this guy should stand in line with the people who came here legally. And the fact that he got a "law" degree is shocking. How can he represent the law when he is himself breaking it? Who would hire a lawyer who is himself breaking US Laws? I wouldn't. Our immigration system is nuts. What other country would allow this? None. An illegal alien murdered a friend ... remember Chandra Levy?...had that murderer been arrested once insider our borders Chandra might be alive today and the two other women he stalked wouldn't have been terrorized by him.


Horrible. This criminal should be deported.


Are you kidding me? So people who break, circumvent, or otherwise disobey laws, including immigration laws, are now to receive monetary compensation for "practicing" law?

And people wonder why there's so much corruption in courts, and Congress - the biggest bunch of crooked "lawmakers" on the planet?

And the ACLU has the audacity to support/applaud such action?

I remember the day when the ACLU actually stood for decent principles. You are now a laughing stock amongst those who actually know the difference between right and wrong.

Oh, and by the way, I am of Mexican decent, so no, I'm not a racist who doesn't like "brown" people. I'm here legally. My grandparents made sure of that because they were decent people who respected laws, nations, and others. I am repeatedly ashamed of what other people of Mexican decent are doing in the U.S. They act like as if everyone else "owes" them something simply because they're of Mexican decent and their parents, grandparents, whoever, "struggled". Well, guess what - no one said life's a bowl of cherries. Everyone struggles. My grandparents struggled to get here and become citizens. My parents struggled to feed us, clothe us, and pay for private education for all seven of us children. I've struggled to continue my education and paid for it myself, worked while going to college, paid off all my student loans myself, opened up a business with my meager savings, etc. etc. etc.

I will never "donate" any money to support the ACLU in any way as it has simply lost direction and principles.


Another day of victory in the Justice system. This is landmark in where we are demonstrated that some "illegal" aliens are more contributing to society than others, who by mere birth are given citizenship. I find it sad many people waste their citizenship doing nothing contributing to society. It is to my belief that if a person his here "illegally" and has demonstrated that he/she is a contributing member of society, than some strong considerations for "legalization" should be implemented. Many of those who CAN, yet choose NOT to, complain; meanwhile, whose who are "Disadvantaged", are willing (or have) and will a lot of sacrifice are ABLE to do what others chose not to...

We are all Americans, this is about fairness, equality, and reform....we should REWARD those who do remarkable things and prove US wrong when we are indeed WRONG.

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