After 3 years of struggle, Cesar Vargas, a Mexican-born 31-year-old New Yorker, became the first unauthorized immigrant in the state to be approved to work as a lawyer after the State Supreme Court’s Second Division Appellate Court granted his application to the bar. This sets a historic precedent as Mr. Vargas, who has been granted the deferred action allowing him to work, is the third unauthorized immigrant lawyer to become eligible to practice law following California and Florida in 2014.
In the opinion, the court wrote: “We find that Mr. Vargas’ undocumented immigration status, in and of itself, does not reflect adversely upon his general fitness to practice law,” adding, “Mr. Vargas did not enter the United States in violation of the immigration laws of his own volition, but rather, came to the United States at the age of 5 at the hand of his mother.”
“This wasn’t just about one person; this was about countless other students across New York State and across the country,” Mr. Vargas said on Wednesday night. “This is a precedent I wanted to make. I think this is really great momentum that is going to extend to other policies.”
Congratulations to Attorney Vargas on this tremendous victory!