Is your Legal Counsel Illegal?

One might imagine, and certainly hope, that the answer to the question posited above would generally be no. However, after a non-binding resolution last week, California's illegal immigrants are closer than ever to being able to practice law in the state.

I suppose that at some level, if illegal immigrants are granted a right to do something, it isn't illegal when they do it. As Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, quoted in this article, noted however, "(Lawyers) swear they will abide by each and every federal and state law. So what do they do, are they going to report themselves?"

I typically come out on immigration issues somewhere between the 'deport them all' and 'complete amnesty' crowds as I think both positions taken to their extremes are wrong both morally and pragmatically. And I am sure there is some benefit which could be had from undocumented workers in trouble with the law receiving counsel from individuals they identify with.

However, I can also understand why some people will be up in arms if this resolution is, at some point, reflected in a hard law. I was similarly understanding when people became upset with the Arizona laws on the other end of the immigration question spectrum.

Though such positions might seem incongruous, I think taken together, they simply represent my disappointment with the disjointed, ineffective and often confusing immigration policy regime in the US. It is clearer than ever that illegal immigration is an issue which requires a federal solution. It is equally clear that one will not be forthcoming in an election year.

For the time being, I suppose people of both pro- and anti- illegal immigration persuasions will have to get used to disappointment...

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