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California State Bar Recommends Law License for Illegal Immigrant

I am probably a good deal squishier than most conservatives on the immigration issue – I broadly favor a set of immigration reforms that would probably be (inaccurately) called “amnesty” by most people who read this blog. But this story right here really chaps my hide:

An illegal immigrant applying for a law license in California should be allowed to receive it, the State Bar of California argues in a filing to the state Supreme Court.

Sergio Garcia, 35, of Chico, Calif., has met the rules for admission, including passing the bar exam and the moral character review, and his lack of legal status in the United States should not automatically disqualify him, the Committee of Bar Examiners said Monday.

“ … Mr. Garcia’s status in the United States, should not, ipso facto, be grounds for excluding him from law licensure. He has met all of the prescribed qualifications and there is no reason to believe he cannot take the oath and faithfully uphold his duties as an attorney,” the bar said.

Perhaps this story is not as outrageous to anyone who has not had to go through the “moral character review” section of the exam. I have personally known people for whom the Bar Examiners recommended that they not receive their license because they had too many speeding tickets (which allegedly demonstrated a “disrespect for the law.”) More serious criminal convictions are not automatic disqualifiers but you generally have to show that you’ve been Mother Theresa since; it’s quite a strenuous process.

Here, the California State Bar is presented with someone who is admittedly involved in ongoing criminal activity and they have recommended that he get a law license? How will they ever be able to argue again that anyone has failed the moral character review? If someone engaged in ongoing criminal activity isn’t showing “disrespect for the law,” who is?

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