Photo: News Taco
The undocumented attorney in whose favor the California Supreme Court ruled when he tried to obtain his professional license told Efe that his aspirations include becoming governor of the Golden State.
“I’m very happy that little by little people are seeing the reality and the value of what has been achieved,” said Sergio Perez Garcia a few hours after learning of the court’s ruling.
“Many people always tell me, ‘OK, it’s good to know you’re fighting to be a lawyer but what’s that to me? What does that have to do with me?’ And I was trying to show them that it opens the door for everyone, not just for me who was called upon to open it alone,” the 36-year-old Mexican said.
Garcia entered the United States for the first time with his family when he was 17 months old and remained in the country until he was 9, when the family returned to Mexico.
Later, his father came back to the United States and obtained a residence visa under the 1986 amnesty law.
Garcia once again entered the United States at 17 and requested a legal residence permit, a procedure he has been waiting to see carried out for more than 19 years and the resolution of which is not expected until 2019.
A graduate of Cal Northern School of Law, Garcia passed the California bar exam in 2009 on his first try.
After being admitted to the bar and receiving a license to practice law in the state, however, the Justice Department opposed his admission due to his undocumented immigration status.
But in a unanimous decision on Jan. 2 the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of a motion presented by the Examination Committee of the California Bar Association guaranteeing that Garcia’s license would be expedited.
Garcia, in the meantime, says the lack of a work permit won’t stop him.
“The law says I can’t be anyone’s employee and I can’t take a job from a person who’s here legally, but there’s absolutely no law that says that I can’t create my own job and open my own company, which is exactly what I’ve always dreamed about: being the owner of my own business,” Garcia said.
In the long term, Garcia aims to pursue a political career. “Insofar as it’s legally possible for me, I’m thinking of launching a political campaign with the aim of eventually, perhaps many years from now, running for governor.”