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Joe Guzzardi: California’s immigration insanity hits new peak

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Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 12:00 am

With the California Supreme Court’s decision to allow illegal immigrant Sergio Garcia to practice law, the state has hit the nadir of insanity in eliminating distinctions between those here legally and those who are not.

Garcia’s case dates back to 2009 when he first passed the California bar examination. His many allies argued that since Garcia had come to the U.S. as a child and had lived an exemplary life in the more than 20 years since his arrival, including graduating from Cal Northern Law School, the 36-year-old should be allowed to practice.

But in August 2012, the Department of Justice issued an amicus brief stating that federal law prohibits granting professional licenses to illegal immigrants unless a state passes a law allowing it. The California Legislature passed such a law in September 2013; Gov. Jerry Brown signed it in October.

The Supreme Court, the California legislature and Brown ignored other compelling points that should ban Garcia from practicing law.

First, Garcia’s continued presence in the U.S. violates immigration law every day. Furthermore, Garcia can’t be legally employed in the U.S. No law firm, government entity or corporation can legally hire Garcia. Finally, Garcia cannot truthfully take an attorney’s oath of office since it requires that he will “... support the Constitution of the U.S. ...” — a condition which Garcia has already violated.

But Brown, a Yale University Law School graduate and former California attorney general, did take the oath, which includes the following: “I solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the state of California, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of an attorney and counselor-at-law to the best of my knowledge and ability.” When he signed the new legislation, Brown clearly violated his oath.

Immigration advocates hailed the California Supreme Court decision and hope that it will pave the way for similar opinions in other states. Two other cases are pending. In Florida, Jose Godinez-Samperio, 26, and in New York, Cesar Vargas, 30, both aliens who have applied for law licenses, await state Supreme Court decisions.

Ten years ago, it would have been unimaginable that illegal immigrants would be given law licenses. But during the last decade, the pro-immigration lobby has become more well-funded and powerful. Some critics persuasively argue that illegal immigrants are more influential than citizens.

Maybe they’re right. After all, the White House under intense pressure from the pro-immigration lobby, has issued a series of executive actions favorable to illegal immigrants that have circumvented Congress and rewritten immigration law.

Garcia, Godinez-Samperio and Vargas are members of the DREAM Bar Association, a national group formed with guidance from the American Immigration Lawyers Association for the express purpose of advancing the collective causes of would-be illegal immigrant lawyers. The association’s mission, according to its president Jose Magaña, is to urge all 50 states to pass legislation and promulgate rules that would ensure that illegal immigrant students “who have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school, meet the state bar’s character and fitness requirements, and successfully pass the bar examination are able to obtain a law license and fully utilize their legal education.”

If I had to bet on what eventually happens, I’d put my money on the DREAM Bar Association.

Joe Guzzardi retired from the Lodi Unified School District in 2008. He taught English as a second language during the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

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  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:43 am on Wed, Jan 29, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2865

    Gov. Cuomo may indeed look for ways to defy the laws to keep Extreme Conservatives out of his state. Unless Ms. Bobbin has already contacted him to make sure it only remains an opinion of his.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:38 am on Wed, Jan 29, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2865

    Chang stated,

    In the Carolinas alone, coastal communities full of retires, with populations that are as high as 97.4% white, 87% Republican and 94% Christian.

    -I'm not too sure this wasn't meant to be a bigoted statement.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:35 am on Wed, Jan 29, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2865


    I don't believe Ms. Bobbin would be so quick to sweep the issue of Gov. Cuomo under the rug if it was a Republican Governor in NY or another state saying they don't welcome extreme Liberals in their state.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:38 am on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    So, Mr. Kinderman - Andrew Cuomo stating that he doesn't welcome extreme conservatives in New York State is VERY different from Southern governors in the 1950's and 1960's defying the rule of law by not desegregating schools and other public places HOW?

    How are they different? The first is an opinion and the second is defiance of federal law.

    How are they the same? The first is based upon settled law (same-sex marriage, legal abortion, established gun control laws) and the second is ALSO based on established law.

    Which one is/was BREAKING the law? The bigoted Southern governors of the 50's and 60's.

    Perhaps considering Mr. Chang's astutely researched information is a better possibility than becoming a "nomad." There are many places that

  • John Kindseth posted at 9:03 pm on Mon, Jan 20, 2014.

    John Kindseth Posts: 245


  • Walter Chang posted at 9:53 pm on Sat, Jan 18, 2014.

    Walt Posts: 1184

    "I wonder which state(s) will welcome me?"

    Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Alabama, and Texas just to name a few...

    In the Carolinas alone, coastal communities full of retires, with populations that are as high as 97.4% white, 87% Republican and 94% Christian.

    God's paradise. Except for the occasional hurricane.

    C'mon Jerry, think about voting with your feet. California's going to h-e-l-l so save yourself and get out while you still can!!


  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:33 am on Sat, Jan 18, 2014.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Is this really any surprise? So what if this illegal alien is permitted to practice law? We now have a president taking over the duties of Congress with nothing more than his pen! Insanity? I should say not! If it were we could at least find a simple way to rid ourselves of this nonsense.

    As it is now, the rule of law is being tossed out of the proverbial window whenever the political correctness mood strikes those in power. In New York we have a sitting governor pronouncing that who he himself personally deems to be undesirable simply based upon political ideology - but certainly anyone in his state illegally will be welcome with open arms. Governor Brown will likely follow in New York’s footsteps. As one who still believes that marriage should be between one man and one woman; who believes legal abortion is wrong; and who believes that the right to keep and bear arms is a right afforded to each law-abiding citizen, I wonder which state(s) will welcome me. I’ll become a nomad simply because of how I think. Wake up everybody! Soon those who applaud Cuomo might someday very soon find their thinking to be out of line as well.

    I love the United States of America, I truly do. But I’m quickly turning against those who have been granted the privilege and honor of protecting it (and I do NOT mean the military by any means whatsoever).

    I’ll tell you what - when we started on the downward slope of our heretofore greatness, we gained momentum to the nth degree. And who’s to blame: We The People are. What a terrible mess we’ve made for our children and theirs to mop up.


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