Feds tell Fla. court immigrant can't be lawyer

Published On: May 23 2013 02:50:44 PM EDT
Updated On: May 23 2013 02:54:14 PM EDT

Jose Godinez-Samperio graduated from law school, passed the bar and is now struggling to get a license to practice in Florida.

The U.S. Department of Justice is arguing that Florida should deny a law license to anyone who enters or remains in the country without legal permission.

Federal authorities were asked last month by the Florida Supreme Court to help it decide whether federal law precludes the court's admission of an undocumented immigrant to the Florida Bar.

Attorneys for the Department of Justice have filed a legal brief that maintains that federal law bars issuing a professional license to someone who entered the country illegally.

The court's review was requested by Jose Godinez-Samperio. He was brought into the country as a child from Mexico on a visitor's visa. He and his parents overstayed and never returned.

Godinez-Samperio graduated from law school and already has passed the Florida bar examination.

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