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Immigration Law

US representatives support Fla. immigrant lawyer

"Eight members of Congress on Monday joined four former American Bar Association presidents in urging the state Supreme Court to grant a law license to an [unauthorized] immigrant whose parents brought him to the United States from Mexico on a visitor's visa when he was 9 years old. Seven U.S. representatives and Puerto Rico's nonvoting resident commissioner sent a letter to the justices supporting Jose Godinez-Samperio's admission to the Florida Bar. They also expressed support for a "friend of the court" brief being submitted by three ex-ABA presidents. The fourth, former Florida State University President Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, is representing Godinez-Samperio. D'Alemberte, now a professor, was one of his teachers at Florida State's law school. "Here's a kid who came over not speaking any English, learned to speak English, went to school, became an Eagle Scout, continued helping as an assistant scoutmaster, graduated valedictorian from his high school class," D'Alemberte said. Godinez-Samperio, 25, graduated from Florida's New College, earned a law degree at Florida State and passed the bar exam. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners, though, declined to admit him, instead asking the justices for an advisory opinion on whether [unauthorized] immigrants can be licensed as lawyers." - Associated Press, Apr. 2, 2012.

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