At this year’s annual meeting of the American Bar Association, delegates from state and local bar associations passed Resolution 108 in a voice-vote that received only “moderate opposition.” The resolution, which was “proposed by the ABA Law Student Division and embraced by the ABA Young Lawyers Division, recommends that state courts with authority to regulate admission to the bar admit undocumented law school graduates if they are seeking legal status.”

The resolution was proposed following a 2013 California State bill which allowed for illegal immigrants to legally practice law. That bill came after Sergio C. Garcia, who passed the California State Bar Exam, was declared ineligible for admission to the bar association because of his status as an illegal immigrant. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who at the time served as Attorney General of California, submitted an amicus curiae brief supporting Garcia’s application, arguing that his admission was not in violation of a federal law that prohibits illegal immigrants from obtaining “professional licenses.” After the bill was signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA), Mr. Garcia was granted admission to the bar.

Following California’s lead, New York and Florida have similarly allowed illegal aliens to legally practice law within their states. According to an article by Alberto Luperon, if the resolution is taken seriously by Congress, implementation of the Association’s proposal “wouldn’t require state courts to license undocumented lawyers, but it would make it clear that the federal government won’t get in the way.”


BIZARRO WORLD: American Bar Association Urges Congress To Allow Illegal Immigrants Admission To The Bar