In a boost to those living in the state of Florida without the proper legal documentation, some undocumented immigrants recently gained the right to become lawyer in the state. The governor of Florida, Rick Scott, recently signed a bill which allows undocumented immigrants who meet certain conditions to practice law in the Sunshine State.
The bill came in response to the legal situation of Jose Godinez-Samperio, who entered the United States legally with his family when he was nine years old. The family overstayed their visas, forcing Godinez-Samperio to grow up in the country with an illegal status. Despite his lack of documentation Godinez-Samperio attended high school, where he was his school’s valedictorian, and later graduated with honors from Florida State University. Due to the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was approved by President Obama, Godinez-Samperio has been able to legally work in the country, and obtain a driver’s license and even a social security number. But, his illegal status prevented him from becoming a lawyer, despite his having passed the Florida bar exam in 2011.
While debating whether or not to allow undocumented immigrants such as Godinez-Samperio to become attorney, some Florida state representatives expressed concern that perhaps terrorists would enter the state and pass as undocumented workers until they had the opportunity to become attorney and wreak havoc on the state’s legal system. However, those who would allow qualified undocumented immigrants the chance to become officers of the court ultimately ruled the day.
Those who live in the United States without regular immigration statuses continue to face numerous hurdles and challenges as they attempt to live normal lives. As can be seen by the case of Jose Godinez-Samperio, and others like him, living in the country without the proper documentation can be an uphill battle. If you are looking for help resolving your immigration status, or with other immigration related issues or questions, contact the Austin immigration lawyer at the Lyttle Law Firm immediately by calling 512-215-5225.