Illegal immigrant clears latest hurdle to Bar

Student brought to U.S. from Mexico when he was 9

Published On: Mar 25 2013 06:02:43 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

An illegal immigrant trying to become a Florida attorney has passed another "character and fitness" review as part of the state's bar examination.

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners filed paperwork Monday with the Florida Supreme Court. Bar examiners investigate candidates' moral character before admitting them to practice.

The board is seeking an advisory opinion from the court about whether illegal immigrants can be attorneys in Florida. That decision is pending.

Jose Godinez-Samperio's parents brought him to the United States from Mexico on a visitor's visa when he was 9. They overstayed their visas and never returned to Mexico.

He graduated from Florida State's law school and already has passed the written part of the Florida bar exam.