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September 29, 2013

CEPEDA: Wanted: sense and sanity

With the on-again, off-again chances of achieving wide-ranging immigration reform, there’s much to be exasperated about. But more frustrating are the smaller, slam-dunk situations that could be settled by other means.

Take the case of Sergio Garcia, who has a law degree and passed the bar exam in California but cannot practice because he is an unlawful immigrant. The state of California is pushing the envelope with a piece of controversial legislation that would allow Garcia to ply his trade even though he’s residing in the U.S. illegally.

A logic-defying law that would allow such immigrants to be admitted to the California Bar is sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk doing a few things: awaiting the governor’s signature, again challenging the federal government’s supremacy over the states on immigration issues, and antagonizing those who are already against any reform that includes a path to citizenship because it seems to reward those who have broken the law.

What’s needed in this case is not a divisive and ridiculous state-based loophole but a bare minimum of common sense.

For Pete’s sake, can’t someone just grant this guy legal residency?

In the face of a broken immigration system with few prospects for reform, can’t the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services just get their act together and open an Office of Sense and Sanity?

Garcia isn’t some repeat offender who willingly broke the law and is now banking on pity to get him a pass to the front of the proverbial waiting line for citizenship. In addition to having worked his way through college and passed the bar exam on the first try, Garcia has, by all accounts, jumped through every immigration-related hoop he’s been asked to clear.

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