Thursday, February 9th, 2017

License Immigrant, Cal. State Bar Urges Court

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"In a filing Thursday with the state Supreme Court, the bar renewed its support for Sergio C. Garcia, who was brought to the United States as a toddler, worked his way through college and law school, and awaits the court's verdict on his eligibility to practice law.  The new element in the bar's position was its argument that the court, which licenses attorneys in the state and oversees their practice, could enact a law - normally a function of the Legislature - to meet a requirement of federal immigration law that stands in Garcia's way.  A 1996 federal law bars states from granting illegal immigrants "public benefits," which includes a license to practice law, according to the Obama administration.  The State Bar argued that an attorney's license is not a public benefit, because licensing is funded by lawyers' dues rather than tax dollars. But the bar also contended that an exemption in the federal law - allowing states to authorize