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Undocumented California Lawyer Finally Gets Green Card

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Immigrant California lawyer finally gets green card

by Paul Elias, AP, June 5, 2015

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California attorney who successfully fought a legal battle to practice law despite his immigration status got his green card Thursday and can now live in the U.S. legally as well.

Sergio Garcia, 38, first applied for permanent U.S. residency in 1994 at the age of 17 after his family moved from Mexico to California.

"It's an incredible relief," Garcia said after picking up the drivers' license-like card from his post office box in Chico, north of Sacramento.

The green card was granted on the heels of the law license he obtained in 2014 after a five-year legal and political battle that included opposition from the Obama administration and a favorable ruling in January from the California Supreme Court.

The license was granted after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a specially crafted bill passed by the Legislature to let Garcia practice law.

Garcia was thought to be the first immigrant in the country illegally to be granted a law license. He now represents car accident victims and settled his first legal case on Wednesday.

A New York appeals court on Thursday granted a law license to Cesar Vargas, whose mother brought him to the United States from Mexico when he was 5.

Even with his law license, Garcia faced obstacles. Without the green card, he couldn't work for a law firm or partner with other attorneys on cases. Many potential clients were wary of hiring a lawyer who could be arrested and deported.

Garcia says he is seeking U.S. citizenship, which would give him the right to vote, serve on a jury or work for the federal government.

He said he still gets an occasional threatening email from strangers upset that he is practicing law. He hopes his new immigration status will silence critics.

"I'm delighted for him," said Larry DeSha, a retired State Bar prosecutor who opposed the granting of a law license to Garcia while he lived in the country without permission. "He worked hard and waited too long."

DeSha said he has no issue with Garcia practicing law now that he's in the country legally.

Garcia arrived with his parents in California when he was an infant and returned to Mexico when he was 9. When he was 17, his family moved to Chico, where his father — a naturalized U.S. citizen — operates a beekeeping business.

After graduating from Cal Northern School of Law in Chico, Garcia passed the Bar exam in 2009 but wasn't able to practice law until 2014, when he opened an office in Chico.

On Wednesday, he won a $25,000 insurance payout for a woman hurt in an auto accident and collected his first payment.

"I'm on a roll," he said. "My girlfriend and I are going to a steakhouse and I'm ordering a lobster tail."

Link to article - http://tinyurl.com/p5dckb8

Edited by zuluweta

Check my timeline for K-1 visa & AOS details

Conditional Permanent Resident: 16 September 2014

Conditional GC Expires: 16 September 2016

ROC Journey (CA Service Center)

2016-Sep-14: I-751 form, check, supporting docs sent USPS Priority Express

2016-Sep-15: ROC application received & signed for by Lakelieh

2016-Sep-15: NOA receipt date

2016-Sep-19: $590 check cashed by USCIS

2016-Sep-20: NOA/ 1-year extension letter received in mail

2018-Feb-26: ROC case transferred to local office

2018-Mar-06: ROC approved via USCIS website (WAC status check)

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So the Idiot Governor of California gives this illegal alien a professional license to chase ambulances in California

No wonder so many businesses are leaving California.....

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Garcia arrived with his parents in California when he was an infant and returned to Mexico when he was 9. When he was 17, his family moved to Chico, where his father — a naturalized U.S. citizen — operates a beekeeping business.

His Father is naturalized, wonder why he was having such a hard time getting the greencard?

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His Father is naturalized, wonder why he was having such a hard time getting the greencard?

There is a federal law that prohibits to issue a professional license (Nurse, Doctor, Lawyer, etc) to anyone without a SS Number.

Maybe that applied to him........

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There is a federal law that prohibits to issue a professional license (Nurse, Doctor, Lawyer, etc) to anyone without a SS Number.

Maybe that applied to him........

I was referring to the difficulties he had obtaining the greencard, not the business license.

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Per article it seems like he got his professional license first, and now has greencard.

The guy first applied for his greencard in 1994 and just now got it, 21 years later.

Sergio Garcia, 38, first applied for permanent U.S. residency in 1994 at the age of 17 after his family moved from Mexico to California.

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Even better, The California State Senate just passed SB4 which allows for illegals to receive MediCal, obviously paid for by the taxpayer. If I was living south of the border in poverty I know where I would be bringing my family. California has really made a farce of the Federal Immigration laws. But, I don't blame the illegal aliens, I would do the same thing in their shoes.

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Even better, The California State Senate just passed SB4 which allows for illegals to receive MediCal, obviously paid for by the taxpayer. If I was living south of the border in poverty I know where I would be bringing my family. California has really made a farce of the Federal Immigration laws. But, I don't blame the illegal aliens, I would do the same thing in their shoes.

I wish I was an Illegal alien, I would be in California for the free medical. Be able to work and have it all me tax free, Not a bad deal at all........

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I wish I was an Illegal alien, I would be in California for the free medical. Be able to work and have it all me tax free, Not a bad deal at all........

I don't know that the free medical would do it for me, I remember working two full time minimum wage jobs in college (one with tips) and it was hard. But, it would be much better than wondering if you were going to have enough money to feed your family and there is no health care available. As it stood before SB4, emergency rooms in California could not turn anyone away based of their immigration status. So, the ER became the PCP for most illegals and added to an already burdened and overly expensive health care system. The tragedy of that is the number of ERs and more importantly, trauma centers, that had to shut down because they couldn't afford to operate. With SB4, they can now apply for MediCal and the state (read taxpayer) will foot the bill. In the end it doesn't really matter because we end up paying for it one way or another. What bothers me is the way the state is creeping around the Federal laws, first driver's licenses, law licenses, MediCal, no more ICE holds by local police, no more referral to ICE to violent criminals, the revolving door that is our border.

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It will all be worth it if Hillary wins.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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