Can an illegal alien legally practice law?

The California Supreme Court heard arguments this week in the matter of Mr. Garcia, an illegal alien, though with proper credentials, not to be deported. His request: Grant him a license to practice law now that he has passed the bar.

Like a model prisoner, he has been a model citizen.  But, does a model prisoner walk out of prison early?  On occasion, yes.  Can a model citizen attain a professional license?  Though Mr. Garcia can stay in the U.S., can he be licensed where it’s required to uphold all the laws of the country, including immigration laws of which he is clearly in violation?   While, he had no say in coming to the country (only his parents did) and while he knows only the U.S. way of life, the answer to the question is not so clear.

In part, this issue is not about Mr. Garcia, but about states’ rights.  What is your opinion?  Should an immigrant, staying here legally but not yet a citizen, be allowed to represent others as a lawyer?


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