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Keynote Speaker

Sergio C. Garcia
Attorney at Law

Sergio Covarrubias Garcia was born on March 1, 1977 in the State
of Michoacán, Mexico. At the age of 17 months he was brought to the United States by his parents. When he was about 10 years old, Sergio decided to become an attorney, after seeing the injustice in his country. In Mexico, Sergio was involved in school academic contests, was school president and graduated from the equivalent
to junior high with the highest honors.

His father decided to bring Sergio and all his family back to the United States. On November 18, 1994, his father applied to adjust Sergio’s legal status, his application was approved on January 15, 1995.

Sergio went to Durham High School and graduated with several awards. At that point, he had captured the attention of prestigious institutions: Stanford, Berkeley, UC Davis and others. Sadly, he was forced to decline offers from these institutions since he was still in the process of adjusting his status and therefore did not qualify for the scholarships these institutions offered.

Instead, Sergio continued his education at Butte College where he obtained AA degrees in Social and Behavioral Sciences and AS in Business Administration. After Butte College, Sergio transferred to Chico State University where he successfully completed the Paralegal Certificate Program in 2005.

Later he enrolled in Cal Northern School of Law. Going to a night school allowed him to continue working full time during the day while attending school at night. Sergio successfully graduated from law school with a Juris Doctorate on May 9, 2009. Degree that he dedicated to his mother on mother's day.

 On November 21, 2009 Sergio successfully passed the California Bar Exam on his first attempt, but following an extended and grueling investigation he was denied a license solely on the basis of his lack of immigration status which had been in process for more than 15 years.

After years waiting for his day in court the California Supreme Court in San Francisco heard the arguments for the landmark case of Sergio C. Garcia on September 4th, 2013. After oral arguments a denial became imminent short of action from the legislature. Fortunately, in an unprecedented show of support the California legislature passed AB1024 inspired my Mr. Garcia's case. This law is historic not only in the bipartisan support 91 to 9, but also in the fact that it passed in 7 days.

On January 2, 2014 the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in favor of Mr. Garcia and against the U.S. Department of Justice. This landmark decision will open the door for many others who were waiting to become attorneys and hoping that Mr. Garcia's sacrifice would dramatically change history and allow them to fulfill their dreams.

The same year SB 1159 made its way to the Governor's desk and was signed opening the door to an estimated 1.85 million professionals in California starting January 1, 2016. This law allows undocumented professionals to obtain their professional licenses by the use if an ITIN number instead of a social security and was inspired by Mr. Garcia's bruising journey. Mr. Garcia has in fact made history!

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    Phone: (510) 723-6600 | Last updated on 5/20/2015