State courts to decide if illegal immigrants can become lawyers

Cases in the California and Florida state supreme courts consider this tough question

Can someone who is in the U.S. illegally be counted upon to uphold its laws? That’s the question at the center of a case in the California Supreme Court, in which Sergio Garcia, a 35-year-old illegal immigrant who has passed the bar exam, seeks to be allowed to practice law in the U.S.

Both the state bar association and California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris support Garcia, who has been in the U.S. since he was 17. Harris even wrote an amicus brief to the California Supreme Court expressing her belief that Garcia should be admitted to the bar, and calling him “a model of the self-reliant and self-sufficient immigrant.”

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