Cesar Vargas becomes first undocumented immigrant allowed to practice law in New York

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A New York appeals court has approved the state bar application of a DREAMer without legal status named Cesar Vargas.
"We find that the undocumented status of an individual applicant does not, alone, suggest that the applicant is not possessed of the qualities that enable attorneys to vigorously defend their client's interests within the bounds of the law," the ruling says, "nor does it suggest that the applicant cannot protect, as an officer of the court, the rule of law and the administration of justice."

Vargas, 31, tweeted his unfiltered excitement.



He first came to the U.S. at the age of 5, and studied law at the City University of New York with the goal of one day joining the military. He graduated in 2011 and passed the bar exam on his first try the following year.

Unfortunately, his immigration status held up his application to practice law in New York for three years. During that time, he co-founded the Dream action coalition, a lobbying group that works to reform immigration laws.

The decision to approve Vargas' case applies specifically to him, although it could set a precedent for future cases.

Now that Vargas is officially a licensed attorney, he hopes to start his own law firm. However, he will still continue advocating on behalf of the undocumented community.

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Immigrants becoming citizens in America
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Cesar Vargas becomes first undocumented immigrant allowed to practice law in New York
Immigrants from 25 countries take the oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony in Daley Plaza on September 16, 2014 in Chicago, Illinipois. Seventy people were awarded their U.S. citizenship at the Citizenship Day ceremony. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Immigrants take oath of citizenship to the United States on November 20, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. Sixty immigrants from 25 countries became American citizens during the naturalization ceremony at the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) office at Newark's Federal Building. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
New American citizens celebrate at a naturalization ceremony on November 20, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. Sixty immigrants from 25 countries became American citizens during the ceremony at the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS), office at Newark's Federal Building. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
New U.S. citizens, including Nicole Annete Flood from Mexico (C), attend a naturalization ceremony at Liberty State Park on September 19, 2014 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Forty immigrants from 18 different countries became American citizens at the event, held by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), on Constitution and Citizenship Day. This week USCIS will have naturalized more than 27,000 new citizens at 160 ceremonies nationwide. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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