Los Angeles Times Skips the I-Word As California Grants Law License to Illegal Alien

The Los Angeles Times decided, as one of California’s leading arbiters of political correctness, that they would skip the ironic headline of “Illegal alien wins license to practice law.” That kind of direct language is a bit too honest. The use of the I-word will be banned in all civilized and "inclusive"  forums in the future, and this may mark the beginning.

“California court grants law license to Mexican immigrant” was the headline, and reporter Maura Dolan took many paragraphs before listing just how many times this new lawyer evades all those annoying technicalities they teach you about in law school.

“A Mexican immigrant without a green card on Thursday won the right to practice law in California, an unprecedented ruling that will permit others in similar circumstances to become lawyers,” Dolan began.

Not only did the word “illegal” never appear, but neither did anyone who thought this decision was questionable if not ridiculous on its face. The raves were arranged to be unanimous:

"The fact that an undocumented immigrant's presence in this country violates federal statutes is not itself a sufficient or persuasive basis for denying undocumented immigrants, as a class, admission to the State Bar," Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote for the court. [She was born in Sacramento to immigrant parents.]

...James Wagstaffe, who represented the State Bar in its efforts to admit Garcia, called Thursday's decision "a landmark case in favor of inclusiveness."

"It is not just about undocumented immigrants," Wagstaffe said. "It is also saying we are going to decide the qualifications of a lawyer based on individual character, not based on class."

University of San Francisco law professor Bill Hing estimated that at least two dozen immigrants without green cards graduate from California law schools each year. He said many immigrants were sworn in to practice before the State Bar began asking about immigration status in 2008.

"California now is the only state that has said specifically that undocumented immigrants can practice law," Hing said. "The hero in this whole saga is the state Legislature and Jerry Brown for acting so swiftly."

Apparently, insisting on border enforcement and immigration laws is "class warfare" now.

These PC czars of California know that federal laws prevent what they did, but seem to be leaning on the notion that Eric Holder will once again make the very political decision to non-enforce federal law. Late in Dolan’s story comes all the interesting details about the new lawyer being a skilled evader of laws and rules and stuff:

The bar's investigation "establishes that Garcia is a well-respected, hard-working, tax-paying individual who has assisted many others and whose application is supported by many members of the community, by past teachers, and by those for whom he has worked, but the record also reveals that Garcia's conduct has not been entirely flawless," the court said.

When he was 17, Garcia provided a false "alien registration number" to a grocery store where he worked and inaccurately claimed he was a lawful permanent resident, the court said. Garcia did not initially disclose that falsehood to state bar investigators examining his moral fitness to practice law, according to Thursday's ruling.

The bar decided to overlook the transgression because Garcia had relied on poor legal advice in not immediately disclosing the incident, the court said. Garcia also acknowledged "the wrongfulness of his conduct" and blamed it on his youth, imperfect understanding of English and a moment of panic when the store asked him to complete the form, the court said.

He also once was cited for driving without a license or insurance, the court said. He paid a fine and stopped driving until he obtained a license from Oregon, which at the time did not require proof of lawful residency, the court said. Bar examiners decided that Garcia believed in good faith that he had met the requirements for an Oregon license, although it was not clear whether he had lived in the state for the required six months, the court said.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis