New Mexico has become the latest state to welcome illegal aliens as attorneys.
In other words, those who are breaking U.S. law by their presence in the country, will now be allowed to practice law in the Land of Enchantment. These illegal-alien lawyers will now be allowed to try to prevent their fellow illegal aliens from being deported.
A lawyer is an officer of the court and should at a minimum not be a lawbreaker.
The new policy helps to blur the line between illegal aliens, lawfully present aliens, and U.S. citizens, which has long been a goal of the open-borders Left. The Left wants to devalue and abolish citizenship and what it means to be American, and confer all the benefits of being legal on people who are illegal – and it is succeeding.
The Left deliberately obscures the distinction between illegal aliens and people who immigrated lawfully to the United States. It is part of the leftist war not only on American values but on the English language.
The Left aims to make the hordes of illegal aliens their various so-called immigration reforms have unleashed on their fellow Americans over the years seem normal and acceptable. This is also why the Left describes just about everyone touched by the nation’s immigration laws as an “immigrant” – whether they’re illegal aliens or legal permanent residents. Smearing anyone who believes in the rule of law as anti-immigrant over and over again makes people defensive and wears down the opposition. It’s a kind of brainwashing.
Leftists are also fond of invoking the magic of euphemism to make the social problems they create go away. Leftists claim the perfectly good legal phrase “illegal alien” is somehow sinister and dehumanizing. As of last year, California and Colorado had banned the phrase “illegal alien” in state laws. Democrats in Congress have tried to ban “alien” and “illegal alien,” replacing them with “foreign national” and “undocumented foreign national.” The Thought Police in the Biden-Harris regime ordered U.S. immigration enforcement agencies in April 2021 to refrain from using “alien” and “illegal alien.”
Although left-wingers are fond of saying conservatives speak in code –former Congressman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) famously said tax cuts were racist dog whistles (“It’s not ‘spic’ or ‘n*****’ anymore. They say, ‘Let’s cut taxes”)– leftists really do speak in code. They use code to advance their agenda while concealing what they are actually trying to do.
This makes reading the reports indoctrinated policy wonks write difficult because when they write about “immigrants” it is unclear if they actually mean lawfully present immigrants or if they are using the word as a euphemism for illegal aliens.
The unanimous decision by the all-Democrat Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico, which came August 19 in the form of a new set of rules governing admission to the bar (pdf), is self-contradictory but it is clearer than most reports by leftist scribes.
The court made a policy decision, finding that going forward a lack of U.S. citizenship or immigration status may not be used to deny a law license to individuals in possession of a law degree and otherwise eligible to join the New Mexico Bar Association. The court order concurred with changes recommended by the Board of Bar Examiners and the Code of Professional Conduct Committee.
“The change in the licensure rule is grounded in the fundamental principle of fairness, and is consistent with New Mexico’s historical values of inclusion and diversity in its culture,” Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon, a Democrat, said in a statement.
“New Mexico is aligned with at least eight other states that allow attorney licensure for some immigrants, and the American Bar Association has endorsed the principle of permitting attorneys to practice law regardless of immigration status,” Bacon said.
In my research, I found only six other states that allow illegals to practice law. They are California, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, New York, and Wyoming.
I asked Barry Massey, Public Information Officer for the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts, to explain Bacon’s remarks.
“Our reference was to states that provide or have improved attorney licenses for immigrant populations, such as DACA recipients, legal immigrants and/or unauthorized immigrants,” Massey said by email. (DACA is then-President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration amnesty program that shields young people who came to the United States illegally from being deported.)
“In addition to those you listed, the 8 includes: Maine, which repealed a residency provision for applicants and a character reference requirement for foreign-trained applicants [and] Nevada, which prohibited the denial of an occupational or professional license based solely on the applicant’s citizenship or immigration status,” Massey said.
The New Mexico document states that a “License to practice law shall not be denied based solely on the applicant’s citizenship or immigration status.”
At the same time, the “Character and fitness standards and investigation” section that a law license applicant “bears the burden of proving good character in support of the application.”
“The revelation of discovery of any of the following may be treated as cause for further inquiry before the Board of Bar Examiners determines whether the applicant possesses the character and fitness to practice law…”
Two categories of problematic behavior are “unlawful conduct” and “acts involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.”
Of course, illegal aliens by definition are guilty of unlawful conduct and it is hard to imagine them going about their daily business without committing acts involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
In theory, the problematic behavior parts of the New Mexico ruling could still prevent an illegal alien from being given authorization to practice law, but don’t count on it.
Presumably, since the woke state chief justice, Democrat C. Shannon Bacon, and her fellow justices are hellbent on letting illegal aliens practice law, illegal or unethical conduct flowing out of an illegal alien’s everyday acts aimed at escaping detection by authorities or at falsely appearing to be a legal alien, such as stealing Social Security numbers or other documents or impersonating other people, won’t prevent him or her from being admitted to the bar.
Meanwhile, social justice warrior Jazmin Irazoqui-Ruiz of the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center told the Las Cruces Sun News that she was thrilled at the new rules. A beneficiary of the DACA program, she became an attorney in the state in 2017 under special rules.
The new attorney admission rules were a “great victory” that will safeguard her attorney status even if the Supreme Court eventually invalidates DACA. “I personally dedicated my career to doing exactly what this type of policy change does: Removing barriers to economic mobility and stability for immigrant families across our state,” she said.
“Having a diverse bar is important because we want our clients to see themselves represented in those who take their cases and advocate for them,” she said.
New Mexico Republicans denounced the ruling.
“New Mexico’s high court has become authoritarian and appears to be operating outside the limits of its power,” said state GOP chairman Steve Pearce.
“This latest rule will open our borders even more, and the Court seems to relish making arbitrary decisions without thinking about consequences. This Court has gotten out of control, and it believes it can do whatever it wants.”
Curt Levey, president of the Committee for Justice, told me the Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico’s decision struck him as more “political” than “legal.”
“It strikes me as interesting that the Chief Justice issued a statement,” Levey told me for another article. “Normally, the majority opinion would speak for itself.”
The decision is “really about policy—our state has values of inclusion and diversity.”
The ruling is based “on policy, which is the definition of judicial activism. Judicial activism is when you come up with an outcome-oriented decision based on the policies preferred by the judge or judges, rather than the law,” he said.
It is “bizarre” that in New Mexico “you can be here illegally, subject to arrest and deportation, and yet at the same time, you could be representing as a lawyer another illegal alien who’s facing the same thing.”
This article by Matthew Vadum appeared Sept. 20, 2022, at FrontPageMag.