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  1. Florida Politics

Governor signs bill allowing 'Dreamer' to get law license

Published May 12, 2014

TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott signed 58 bills into law Monday, including one that will allow a Pinellas County law school graduate to qualify for a Bar license even though he's not a citizen.

"I feel ecstatic. I can't believe it," said Jose Godinez-Samperio, 27, of Largo. "We've had to jump through so many hoops, I can't believe it's here."

Legislators in both parties championed his cause after the Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously in March that a federal law bars Godinez-Samperio from practicing law in Florida unless the Legislature exempts the state from that law.

Godinez-Samperio, who came to the U.S. from Mexico with his parents when he was 9, wants to practice immigration law and works as a paralegal at Gulf Coast Legal Services. He's a so-called Dreamer who has temporary legal status in the U.S. and was an honors graduate from the Florida State University College of Law.

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