TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ An illegal immigrant says an Obama administration change to U.S. immigration policy means there are no grounds to deny him a Florida law license.
President Barack Obama announced last month that illegal immigrants no older than 30 who arrived as children, have no criminal history, and have high school degrees or military service could stay and work in this country.
In a motion filed Thursday, Jose Godinez-Samperio told the state Supreme Court that the administration's order makes him eligible for legal immigration status and work authorization in the U.S.
“The significance of this action for (Godinez-Samperio) and for the issues before this Court cannot be overstated,'' says the motion filed in Tallahassee by Godinez-Samperio's attorney, Talbot D'Alemberte. “No grounds remain for denying or further delaying his admission to the Florida Bar.''
The motion asks the court to order the Florida Board of Bar Examiners to either conclude its investigation into Godinez-Samperio's application or admit him.
Godinez-Samperio's parents brought him to the U.S. from Mexico on a visitor's visa when he was 9. His parents overstayed their visas and never returned to Mexico. He grew up in rural Hillsborough County. His father, a veterinarian in Mexico, milked cows on a dairy farm. His mother, a dentist, worked at a factory that made sliding glass doors.
Godinez-Samperio, 25, graduated from Florida's New College, earned a law degree from 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 illegal immigrants can be licensed as lawyers.
Earlier this year, seven U.S. representatives and Puerto Rico's nonvoting resident commissioner joined four former American Bar Association presidents in urging the state Supreme Court to grant Godinez-Samperio a law license.