California immigrants who have met all of the state’s requirements for practicing law may be interested in the campaign of an organization called the DREAM Bar Association (DBA). Their goal is to help undocumented immigrants realize their dreams of being able to practice law in this country. They also hope the campaign will not only help them with their professional dreams, but also pave the way for permanent residence.
The organization seeks immigration reform and a path to help those who have met the needed requirements to practice law. As of now, undocumented immigrants are not allowed to practice law because they cannot obtain licenses. The campaign is designed to provide law licenses to eligible undocumented immigrants and also emphasize the need for a comprehensive reform of immigration.
Some of these immigrants are seeking the right to practice and will soon have their cases heard by their state’s Supreme Court. The president of the DBA believes that California and Florida are ‘erecting obstacles’ for immigrants who wish to practice law in their states. The Department of Justice argues that federal law prohibits one man from receiving his law license unless the state changes the law. The Committee of Bar Examiners in the state argued the immigrants should be allowed admittance to the bar and doing so is not a path to help him become naturalized, but a recognition that the man did all of the work and holds the knowledge and moral character needed to admitted.
The cases have not been heard yet, but the DBA hopes to not only help them, but also open an easier way for permanent residence in this country. Law school is no easy feat for anyone, but California immigrants who have done the work necessary may soon have the right to practice just like anyone else. In addition, permanent residence has the potential to become easier for them if the DBA has their way.
Source: New America Media, “Undocumented Law School Grads and Students Prepare Lobby,” Leslie Layton, Nov. 12, 2012