English: Seal of the Supreme Court of California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The newest member of the California Supreme Court could be from Mexico. Today, Governor Jerry Brown announced his nomination of Mexican-born Stanford law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar to the state’s high court, reported the Los Angeles Times.
Born in Matamoros, Mexico, Cuellar crossed the border by foot for years to attend school in Texas before moving to the Imperial Valley with his family at the age of 14. He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, a law degree from Yale Law School, and a doctorate in political science from Stanford. If elected, he will fill the vacancy created when Justice Marvin R. Baxter retires in January.
Last January, the California Supreme Court granted a law license to Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. While the justices decided that Garcia could not work as an employee of a law firm due to a federal law that prohibits businesses from hiring undocumented immigrants, they ruled that he could do legal work on a pro bono basis.
With more immigrants than any other state, California had about twice the population of foreign-born residents (27 percent) as the United States in 2011, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. Forty-seven percent of immigrants in the state are naturalized U.S. citizens. The majority of immigrants to California are from Latin America (53 percent) and Asia (37 percent), with 4.3 million from Mexico, 812,000 from the Philippines, and 760,700 from China.
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