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Should illegal immigrants be allowed to practice the law?

While federal law prohibits employers from hiring illegal workers, there is no law prohibiting employers from hiring contractors without asking for proof of citizenship. Therefore, a City University of New York School of Law graduate has opened a lobbying agency to help so-called Dreamers - children brought into this country illegally - find their path toward citizenship.

They are called Dreamers because of the success of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, laws. But the DREAM Act was not passed federally, so some states have passed their own versions. Here's where it gets tricky and the state bar associations are seeking guidance.

State Supreme Courts in California and Florida are weighing whether or not two illegal immigrants who passed their state bar exams should be admitted to the bar and allowed to practice law. While both men passed their perspective bar exams, they are still technically illegal aliens. Both state bar associations have asked their highest courts to weigh in on the decision.

One gentleman who was unable to provide proof of citizenship when he showed up to take the bar exam initially received a waiver from his state bar. The other was already sworn in at his courthouse as a lawyer, but officials are reexamining his status after repeated media inquiries.

Many say that the odds don't look good for these two. However, the U.S. House of Representatives recently proposed "Startup Act 2.0," which would make it easier for immigrant students of U.S. colleges that graduate with a STEM degree (science, technology, engineering and math) to stay in the country after completing school.

Certainly, anyone who completes law school would fall under that category.

Source:, "California, Florida Consider Law Licenses for Illegal Immigrants," Joe Palazzolo, June 11, 2012

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