Law student may not be admitted to Bar exam due to illegal status

No matter what laws are passed, the matter of illegal immigrants holding jobs in the U.S. will always spark controversy. The fact is, illegal immigrants who are employed work hard to provide for themselves and their families, despite usually being mistreated in their workspace and even though they risk revealing their lack of citizenship.

So what happens when an illegal immigrant follows all the rules, does the necessary work (while showing good moral character) and is prevented from fulfilling his dream?

That is the situation in Florida, after a 25-year-old illegal immigrant was blocked from taking the state Bar exam, even though there are no rules or guidelines that stipulate an applicant has to reveal their citizenship status before taking the Bar. He graduated from the College of Law at Florida State University and attempted to take the Bar exam, but the examiners did not let him take the exam.

Before this snafu, the 25-year-old lived in Mexico. His parents came to the U.S. on a tourist visa when he was just nine years old and he has been here ever since, becoming valedictorian during his time in high school.

Considering his past achievements, the 25-year-old sounds like a hard-working person that displays good judgment, has outstanding character and would proudly represented the United States – the country he has known for a vast majority of his life.

Still, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners will not allow the man to take the Bar exam. “He admitted to the Bar and the Florida State law school that he was an undocumented immigrant,” the 25-year-old’s attorney said. “It is unfair to deny him the credentials he’s deserved.”

Source: Huffington Post, “Jose Godinez-Samperio, Undocumented Immigrant, Passes Bar Exam In Florida But May Not Be Able To Practice,” April 16, 2012

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