Florida Supreme Court Punts on Licensure for DACA Lawyer

"An undocumented immigrant who applied for a law license in Florida cannot be admitted to the bar, the State Supreme Court said Thursday in a case being watched closely by both sides of the immigration debate.  But the decision, according to legal observers, did not appear to be an actual rejection of the request made by Jose Godinez-Samperio, 26.  Rather, the court indicated it would be deciding on the larger question it had been asked -- whether or not to allow people unlawfully in the country to become lawyers -- and not on a specific individual case.  “In this cause, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners has petitioned this Court for an advisory opinion regarding a clearly stated question. The separate issue of the individual movant's admission is not before the Court,” the court said in a short order. ... After receiving a work permit on Christmas Eve last year under the new deferred action program for undocumented youth, Godinez-Samperio had his lawyer submit a “motion of admission” to the bar in January. ... A case similar to his in California has reached that state’s supreme court, too. There, the State Bar of California has gone further than its Florida counterpart in saying that Sergio Garcia, a 36-year-old who was born in Mexico and first came to the U.S. as a child, should get a license, noting he had met the rules of admission and that his lack of legal status in the U.S. should not automatically disqualify him." - NBC News, Apr. 4, 2013.