Skip to content


News Posted on September 27, 2013

Holly Cooper Comments on Noncitizen California Lawyer Case for Sacramento Bee

Holly S. Cooper, lecturer and staff attorney at the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic, commented for the Sacramento Bee on the case of Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant seeking to practice law in California. 

Garcia has earned a law degree and passed the bar examination, but his application for admission to the bar was held up by the California Supreme Court as a result of his immigration status.  The Bee article notes that Dean Kevin R. Johnson was among the attorneys for the State Bar's Committee of Bar Examiners who argued in a brief that granting Garcia a law license didn't violate federal statutes prohibiting unauthorized immigrants from seeking "public resources." Now, a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to practice law in California has passed the Legislature and is awaiting the governor's signature.

"I think [Garcia] is what our country symbolizes: the hope that people can come to this country, born in poverty, and climb their way up to fulfill the American dream," said Cooper. "If we say, despite all of your hard work and what you have rightfully obtained, that we're going to create this glass ceiling for undocumented immigrants, then the American dream becomes illusory."

Sacramento Bee