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Latino Daily News

Monday April 16, 2012

Should Undocumented Immigrant Jose Godinez-Samperio Be Admiited to Florida Bar?

Should Undocumented Immigrant Jose Godinez-Samperio Be Admiited to Florida Bar?

Photo: Undocumented Jose Godinez-Samperio passed the bar exam, but can he practice law?

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Jose Godinez-Samperio was valedictorian of his high school class in 2004. He graduated at the top of his class from the Florida State University College of Law and he passed the Bar exam. It would seem the 25-year-old had done everything required to become a lawyer. However, there remains one thing \ in his way, his immigration status.

When Godinez-Samperio nine years, his parents brought him to the United States on a tourist visa from Mexico. The family overstayed their visas and have been living in the country illegally ever since.

Still, Godinez-Samperio made the best of every opportunity over the last 16 years, even doing everything required to practice law.

Having passed the Bar, he is now facing a very important question:

Should undocumented immigrants be allowed to practice law?

Though many say yes, pointing out that the Eagle Scout is exactly why the DREAM Act needs to be passed, others like Kendall Coffey, former U.S. attorney for the southern district of Florida, thinks otherwise.

“The question in this instance isn’t should he stay, but should he become a lawyer in Florida,” Coffey recently said on Fox & Friends. “A lawyer’s conduct should conform to the requirements of law, including in his personal affairs. I don’t see how that’s possible here given the present position.”

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners is now asking the state Supreme Court to determine whether they can admit someone who is not legally in the country.

What do you think? Should Jose Godinez-Samperio be given a Bar card when he doesn’t have a Green card?