BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                AB 1024
                                                                Page  1

        (  Without Reference to File  )

        CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
        AB 1024 (Gonzalez)
        As Amended September 6, 2013
        Majority vote
         
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        |ASSEMBLY:  |     |(May 16, 2013)  |SENATE: |29-5 |(September 11, |
        |           |     |                |        |     |2013)          |
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                  (vote not relevant)


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        |COMMITTEE VOTE:  |9-1  |(September 12,      |RECOMMENDATION: |concur    |
        |(JUD.)           |     |2013)               |                |          |
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        Original Committee Reference:    H. & C.D.  

         SUMMARY  :  Provides that upon certification by the examining  
        committee of the State Bar that an applicant who is not lawfully  
        present in the United States has fulfilled the requirements for  
        admission to practice law, the Supreme Court may admit that  
        applicant as an attorney at law in all the courts of this state and  
        may direct an order to be entered upon its records to that effect.

         The Senate amendments  delete the Assembly version of this bill, and  
        instead substitute the current provisions of the bill.

         FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations Committee,  
        pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.

         COMMENTS  :  The federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity  
        Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), Pub. L. No. 104-193, 110 Stat. 2105  
        (Aug. 22, 1996) prohibits certain categories of individuals not  
        lawfully present in the United States from receiving certain public  
        benefits, including "any grant, contract, loan, professional  
        license, or commercial license provided by an agency of a State or  
        local government or by appropriated funds of a State or local  
        government."  (8 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 1621(c).)   
        PRWORA provides that a state may render "an alien who is not  
        lawfully present in the United States . . . eligible for any State  
        or local public benefit for which such alien would otherwise be  








                                                                AB 1024
                                                                Page  2

        ineligible . . . through the enactment of a State law after the  
        date of the enactment of this Act which affirmatively provides for  
        such eligibility."  (8 U.S.C. Section 1621(d).)  Consistent with  
        that provision, this bill seeks to expressly extend eligibility to  
        obtain a license to practice law to individuals who are not  
        lawfully present in the United States.

        The Supreme Court is currently considering whether Sergio Garcia is  
        eligible for admission to practice law in the State of California.   
        (See In re Sergio C. Garcia on Admission, S202512, May 15, 2012.)   
        Mr. Garcia has reportedly been unlawfully present in the United  
        States for approximately 20 years, and is currently petitioning the  
        federal government for an immigrant visa.  During his time in the  
        United States, Mr. Garcia has apparently graduated from law school,  
        passed the California Bar Exam, and has been found by the Committee  
        of Bar Examiners to have met all the necessary requirements for  
        admission to practice law in the State of California.  However,  
        given his immigration status, it may be uncertain whether the  
        Supreme Court can admit Mr. Garcia consistently with federal law.   
        Indeed, the U.S. Department of Justice has filed an amicus brief in  
        the Garcia case opining that 8 U.S.C. Section 1621 precludes  
        issuance of a law license to Mr. Garcia, but also noting that  
        federal law allows California to enact a law making undocumented  
        immigrants eligible for this public benefit.  

        Although some have argued that existing law should be sufficient,  
        this bill seeks to clarify the question by expressly providing that  
        the Supreme Court may admit an applicant who is not lawfully  
        present in the United States as an attorney at law in all the  
        courts of this state upon certification by the State Bar examining  
        committee that the applicant has fulfilled the requirements for  
        admission to practice law.
         

        Analysis Prepared by  :    Kevin G. Baker / JUD. / (916) 319-2334 


        FN:  
        0002866