Undocumented Lawyer Wins|Green Card After 20-Year Wait

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – An attorney who won the right to practice law in California last year despite his status as an undocumented immigrant scored another victory on Thursday: his green card.
     Sergio Garcia, 38, won unanimous approval from the California Supreme Court to be admitted to the state bar in 2014, after a five-year battle that led lawmakers to change state law to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain professional licenses.
     Although the high court enthusiastically approved Garcia’s law license, the justices also noted that the man’s future employment prospects would be limited due to his immigration status – predicting that most law firms would shy away from knowingly hiring an undocumented worker.
     Garcia came to the United States with his parents most recently in 1994, when he was 17. Garcia’s father – as a permanent legal resident – filed an immigration visa petition on behalf of his son, which officials accepted in 1995.
     But the crushing backlog of Mexican nationals who are seeking legal residency meant that 20 years later, Garcia still hadn’t received a visa number.
     That changed on Thursday, when Garcia picked up his green card from the mailbox.
     He said he intends to seek citizenship, which would give him the right to vote, serve on a jury and work for the federal government.
     In the meantime, Garcia said he will continue representing car accident victims from the law office he opened in Chico, north of Sacramento.

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