A 25-year-old Florida man who graduated at the top of his class in law school may not be able to practice law because he is in the country illegally.
The Palm Beach Post News reported earlier this month that the Florida Board of Bar Examiners denied Jose Godinez-Samperio, a Florida State University College of Law graduate, entry into the state Bar because of his legal status.Godinez-Samperio’s parents brought him into the country on a tourist visa when he was 9. The family never left.
Now the Bar is asking the state Supreme Court whether illegal immigrants can be licensed as lawyers. Last week the Florida Supreme Court flagged the case “high profile,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.
It would be absurd to give a law license to someone who can’t legally work in the U.S., Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told the Sentinel.
“It is unfair to deny him the credentials he’s earned,” said Godinez-Samperio’s attorney Sandy D’Alemberte, noting that there is nothing in the rules that govern admissions toFlorida’s Bar that require applicants to prove their immigration status.