Photo: The California Supreme Court will receive the arguments on June 18
Sergio Garcia graduated from law school three years ago, but he cannot practice his profession because he is undocumented, and so the California Bar Association is asking the state Supreme Court to make an exception and approve his license.
“The Supreme Court of California should give an answer to the bar association’s main question, which is: May an undocumented person practice law in California?” Garcia told Efe.
“The request to the Supreme Court for a response to that question is the first case (of its kind) in the entire history of California,” said Garcia in a telephone interview from his home in Chico.
Born on March 1, 1977, in Villa Jimenez, Mexico, Garcia was only 17 months old when his parents brought him to the United States.
He currently works with his father caring for bees in a honey-production operation where the insects also pollinate fruit trees on farms in northern California.
“My case is that I’m waiting to adjust my immigration status, but I’ve been waiting for a request that has been pending and approved since 1994,” Garcia said.
“And during that entire time I studied, I graduated as a lawyer and I can’t work on that because I don’t have the license,” he emphasized.
The Mexican man said that on June 18 the Supreme Court of California will receive the arguments sent by his attorney, Jerome Fishkin, explaining why Garcia deserves to be able to practice the profession for which he studied in the United States.
“The Supreme Court also gave the opportunity to the public to issue their opinion whether they are in agreement or against my working as a lawyer and that they can do so by calling or sending emails,” Garcia said.
He said that if the state high court rules that he does not have the right to earn a living in California in the same way as his classmates who graduated from the California Northern School of Law or simply “believes that it cannot handle the matter,” then the debate will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“A positive resolution would create hope for so many young people who really are afraid or are depressed because they believe that without documents, although they may be studying hard, they are never going to manage to get ahead,” he said.
Garcia said that he is sad to see that the higher the level of the educational centers in the United States, the fewer Hispanics attend them to prepare themselves to be part of the corps of professionals in a country where more than 16 percent of the population is Latino.
“I would like to see the day that that changes. I would like to see the day when it’s not just one Hispanic who graduates among a large group from a university, but rather 10 or even 50,” Garcia said.
“My message for those who are studying to be professionals one day is to keep going forward, don’t despair, don’t get depressed, please never stop dreaming and don’t drop out of school,” he said.