U.S. Representative filed a letter of support with the Florida Supreme Court today on behalf of Jose Manuel Godinez- Samperio's application for membership in the Florida Bar. Castor's letter of support was filed in conjunction with the amicus brief of the Past American Bar Association Presidents.
"Here in the Tampa Bay area we are proud to claim Jose Godinez-Samperio as one of our own. As a valedictorian at Armwood High School, New College graduate and FSU law student, he has worked hard and achieved success that our community should be celebrating. Instead, he is being denied the opportunity to pursue his goals and becoming a practicing lawyer here in Florida.
I joined the Past ABA President's brief because the Florida Supreme Court should not approve a policy that would deny admission to applicants who have passed the Florida Bar Exam and who are of good moral character. The only delay in admittance is a question over the impact of the applicant's legal status, which is not a valid reason to question an applicant's moral character.
It is a shame that his legal status is even in question. I have championed passage of the DREAM act precisely for students like Jose. If the DREAM Act were in place right now, students like Jose Godinez-Samperio would automatically be admitted to the Florida Bar, and immigrants who meet the DREAM Act criteria would be able to access loans for college and even go on to law school or obtain other graduate degrees. We must encourage our nation's next generation - not place obstacles in their path to success.
As Floridians, we are already investing time and money towards undocumented students through twelfth grade. To deny these students the opportunity to become doctors or lawyers or practice another profession is to deny the state of Florida and all of our neighbors an educated and talented workforce. This should not be the result for our great state.
It is short-sighted and arbitrary to deny students like Jose acceptance to the Florida Bar because of decisions that were made for him when he was a child. The correct result certainly is admission."