Will Jose Manuel be the first undocumented lawyer in Florida?

1 Oct

WITNESS HISTORY!  Tuesday, October 2nd, 9 am to 9:40 am

Tomorrow morning, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and other friends across the nation, will be glued to our computer screens, standing with Jose Manuel Godinez-Sampeiro ashis case is heard at the Florida Supreme Court.

The Court will hear arguments on whether Jose Manuel, an undocumented immigrant, can be admitted to the Florida Bar to practice law. Jose Manuel is honored to have the Distinguished Prof. Sandy D’Alemberte arguing in his favor. Prof. D’Alemberte authored the Florida Constitution, was President of the American Bar Association, President of FSU and Dean of the Law School.

You can witness part of history tomorrow by clicking here.

Jose Manuel was born in Mexico and came to Florida with his parents at the age of 9. Through the years he endeavored, overcoming many obstacles to pursue his education. Back in 2007, after graduating from New College and becoming involved with the immigrant rights movement, he applied to Florida State University (FSU) Law School, admitting in his application essay to being undocumented. After graduating and passing the Bar exam, he solicited to be admitted to the Florida Bar. Now The Florida Bar is referring the question to the Florida Supreme Court.

Below are brief words from Jose Manuel on the eve of his court case:

“I am feeling anxious, but also encouraged by overwhelming support; not just from the immigrant rights movement, but even from those who normally espouse anti-immigrant sentiment. Tomorrow I expect to have seven impartial Justices asking a lot of different questions. I hope they see that I have complied with all the requirements. If I get admitted, I would feel extraordinary. I would be able to be a lawyer and practice law, which is about justice and justice has always been very important to me. Did I ever doubt I could become a lawyer? All the time. Semester after semester, I wondered if and how I could afford to pay tuition; studying but never knowing whether I would be allowed to take the Bar exam. But my family inspired me. “El NO ya lo tienes”, they said. If I gave it a shot, I would have a maybe, not knowing but continuing forward. I get my strength from God. If it is His will, it will happen. My message to all of us is don’t give up. Keep trying. We have to win at all levels. Ultimately, we need federal immigration reform.”

We are grateful to Jose Manuel and all those who face exclusion but find the courage and strength to stand for dignity and freedom. May they receive our prayers and may their example inspire us all to action.

Click on this link to hear the arguments in Jose Manuel’s case: http://www.wfsu.org/gavel2gavel/index.php

2 Responses to “Will Jose Manuel be the first undocumented lawyer in Florida?”

  1. mariana October 2, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    watching and praying for you Jose Manuel, you are an inspiration to many!

    • FLIC Communications Team October 2, 2012 at 9:16 am #

      Thanks for the support Mariana! If you tweet, use #dreamlawyer

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