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Can Undocumented Migrants Practice Law?

March 8, 2012
Plain English Version

Can immigrants who lack legal documentation become lawyers? That question will be answered in the near future. Cases in California and Florida are soon to be decided.

In Florida, Godinez-Samperio was born in Hidalgo, Mexico. He came to the United States at nine. He graduated from Florida State University Law School and passed the bar exam.

In California, Sergio Garcia was brought without papers to the United States at 17 months.

In New York, Cesar Vargas was five years old when he arrived from Puebla, Mexico with his mother. He graduated from City University Law School. He is waiting to see how the other cases are decided before planning his next move. He has passed the bar exam.

Vargas is working on his application to register as a lawyer in New York. The application asks whether you are a citizen, resident or have a visa. Vargas has to mark “other” on the application.

The Wall Street Journal


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