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


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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