Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm
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312-445-0591 800-264-2752

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Undocumented immigrant granted law license

Many immigrants who are in the country illegally live in constant fear of being arrested and deported. For that reason, they choose jobs that are under the radar and less likely to get them noticed. But not one man, who entered the country illegally twenty years ago. The man worked his way through law school and passed the bar exam before applying for a licence to practice law in California.

Not surprisingly, this got the man noticed and thrust him into the center of a state Supreme Court case, which he recently won. The man now says he hopes his journey opens the door for millions of others in a similar situation to be able to pursue their dreams instead of staying in the shadows.

According to the man's lawyer, the man can now start his own law practice and reap the benefits of his hard work. But the 36-year-old, who applied for citizenship in 1994 and is still waiting for approval, likely would not have achieved the same outcome without action from the state legislature.

In response to the man's situation, state lawmakers recently approved a bill that allows the state to grant law licences to immigrants who are in the country illegally. The state Supreme Court relied heavily on this law change in its decision, the man's lawyer said.

With the law change, the court held that no federal law "purports to preclude a state from granting a license to practice law to an undocumented immigrant."

Even though there are a few questions that remain, including whether the man should be allowed to practice in federal court or in other states, this was an important decision for immigrants throughout the entire nation.

Source: Associated Press, "Calif. man hopes law license will help immigrants," Jason Dearen, Jan. 3, 2014

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Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm

2021 Midwest Road
Suite 200
Oak Brook, IL 60523
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
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1655 S. Blue Island Ave.
Suite 300
Chicago, IL. 60608
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
Map & Directions