The Florida Supreme Court Rules on the Eligibility of Unauthorized Immigrants For Bar Admission

The Florida Supreme Court has finally issued a per curiam decision in the much watched case of an undocumented immigrant who sought admission to the Florida Bar.The applicant, Jose Godinez-Samperio, graduated from Florida State University School of Law, and passed the Florida Bar Examination.  http://www.floridabar.org/DIVCOM/JN/JNNews01.nsf/SMTGT/Are%20undocumented%20immigrants%20eligible%20for%20Bar%20admission%3F

The Supreme Court ruled that unauthorized immigrants are ineligible for bar admission and must show that they are legally present in the United States. Even though the applicant was covered by the Dream Act (DACA) under Federal Law, the Supreme Court found that the State of Florida still needed to take legislative action to permit aliens to receive public benefits, including the granting of a license to practice law.  In a passionate concurrence, Justice Labarga notes the injustice of this result as mandated under federal and state law.

The decision is full is found here. http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2014/sc11-2568.pdf

Janet Stearns

Dean of Students and Lecturer

University of Miami School of Law

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