Larry DeSha, former prosecutor for the State Bar of California, said Garcia shouldn't be given his law license because his immigration status would be in violation of a civil immigration statute and could affect his ability to represent his clients.
"If Mr. Garcia works or not is a separate question that deserves independent analysis," Nieblas said.
Motomura's view is that although undocumented immigrants generally may not be employees, they can be independent contractors. They could take clients as solo practitioners, to work on specific cases or projects, or to have an ongoing relationship as long as they had multiple clients. This ability to work as an independent contractor also means they could do volunteer legal work of certain kinds.
The U.S. Constitution guarantees public educational access through high school. Beyond high school there is no constitutional guarantee of access, but traditionally each state can decide to admit undocumented students to its public colleges and universities. Some bar them, some admit them as nonresidents at higher tuition, and some, like California, admit them at resident tuition rates.
Motomura said whatever California decides, "it is a decision that the federal government should and must respect."
The California Supreme Court has up to 90 days to decide on the future of Garcia. If it denies him his law license, he said he is prepared to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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