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Immigration Bill & Undocumented Immigrants to Practice Law

The immigration lawyers at Hiden, Rott & Oertle, LLP are keeping a close eye on whether eligible undocumented immigrants will be granted bar cards to practice law in California.

Law school graduates, like Sergio Garcia are unable to practice law in California, until the state adopts such a law.  Mr. Garcia’s case is now before the California Supreme Court.  However, the court recently indicated that “…it is up to legislators, not the Supreme Court, to decide whether immigrants here without their legal papers are entitled to a law license.

To combat this flaw in the law, Assembly Bill No. 1024 was introduced earlier this year.  AB 1024, as amended, in part, would authorize the California “…Supreme Court to admit to the practice of law an applicant who is not lawfully present in the United States, upon certification by the committee that the applicant has fulfilled those requirements for admission, as specified.”

In September of 2013, the Senate amended this bill, but has yet to vote on this legislation.

According to The Recorder, Sergio Garcia has been waiting an unthinkable 19- years for his visa.

If Mr. Garcia and other undocumented immigrants are to receive their bar cards this year, the California state legislature will have to act fast, as there are less than a handful of days before the current legislative session ends.

While some lawmakers argue that California should stay out of “immigration-related issues”, at Hiden, Rott & Oertle, LLP, we hope for swift legislation to authorize the Supreme Court the power to grant all bar passers a bar card, regardless of being an undocumented immigrant.