Undocumented Immigrant Granted Law License by NY Court

new york supreme courtA New York appeals court has ruled to allow an illegal immigrant to practice law in the state. Mexican-born 31-year-old Cesar Vargas was brought to the U.S. by his mother when he was five.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Vargas obtained a renewable two-year amnesty through a government program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The court’s decision applies only to people enrolled in that program, thus only affecting immigrants who were 30 or younger in 2012.

Vargas, who advocates for reforms to immigration laws, passed the state bar exam after attending New York City public schools, St. Francis College in Brooklyn and CUNY Law School, the court said.

The New York appellate panel stated:

We find that Mr. Vargas’ undocumented immigration status, in and of itself, does not reflect adversely upon his general fitness to practice law. Mr. Vargas did not enter the United States in violation of the immigration laws of his own volition, but rather, came to the United States at the age of five at the hand of his mother. When considering the weight to be accorded to his unlawful entry, we are guided by the United States Supreme Court’s long-standing recognition that ” [v]isiting . . . condemnation on the head of an infant is illogical and unjust.’”