A Dire Situation

In the popular TV show Suits, hotshot lawyer Harvey Specter meets a young man named Mike Ross, a brilliant person from humble beginnings. Dropping out of college and living on the streets, Ross ultimately teams with Specter to form one of New York City’s most powerful legal duos. Equally impressive is the story of Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant and budding lawyer brought to the United States by his parents without proper papers.  However, success has not come nearly as easily for Garcia.

Protesters march on Washington, demanding Congress to implement immigration reform.
Source: Anuska Sampedro

Sergio Garcia has already taken his LSATs and the California Bar Exam. He passed with flying colors, which would have allowed him to practice law here. However, the status of his documentation legally prevents him from doing just that. And as unfortunate as Garcia’s situation seems, he’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our nation needs drastic immigration reform immediately. Garcia successfully applied for a green card over 18 years ago, but because of the backlog and bureaucracy of the system directed towards Mexican immigrants, he might have to wait another six or seven years until he is no longer an “illegal”–an ironically depressing truth for someone who knows our nation’s laws better than most (CNN, Rodriguez and Hurtado). Out of the 11 million undocumented immigrants residing in the United States, more than 75% are of Latino descent, according to the White House Latino Immigrant Fact Sheet. The disproportionality of that number is jarring. Our government needs to set aside party politics to create some sort of headway on this issue.

The Obama administration has tried to broker new bipartisan bills with the Senate, but it’s now absolutely imperative that this kind of proposed legislation becomes law. According to the White House, the newest proposed bill would eliminate backlogs for family–based visas, providing a pathway for children of undocumented immigrants to achieve economic and social independence as adults, correcting the inefficiencies of the H-1B system, and making citizenship for the millions of migrant farmworkers–a core component of our agricultural sector– more attainable. The projected economic benefits for the United States as a whole are also vital, with a lowering of the federal deficit by almost a trillion dollars in 20 years and substantial increases to our GDP within the next 10.

The next few days in court will decide the fate of Sergio Garcia. But they could also set a precedent for millions of others with similar stories and backgrounds. I am confident that the courts will rule in favor of Garcia, allowing him to live his American Dream, because as an American, he is entitled to at least that.






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