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In the News: Florida’s provision will block aspirations to practice law among certain immigrants

“It’s an unnecessary political stunt,” said an immigration attorney. The measure will take effect in November 2028 and not be retroactive.
By: Juan Carlos ChavezTimes staff

Jose Godinez-Samperio was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by his parents when he was 9. In 2014, he achieved his dream of becoming a lawyer after the state amended legislation to allow non-U.S. citizens and immigrants without permanent legal status like him to pursue a career.

But a new provision in Florida could change that.

“I think it’s a really bad decision,” said Godinez-Samperio, 37, who now lives in Mexico City but works for a U.S.-based immigration law firm. “All the contributions that immigrants are making in Florida will go to waste.”

The provision, which will take effect in November 2028 and not be retroactive, is part of the new immigration law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, which became law July 1. The measure has already caused anxiety and uncertainty among immigrants.

João Gameiro, 24, is one of them.

Gameiro arrived with his parents from Brazil when he was 2. He recently graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando with a degree in political science and international relations. His goal was to study law at Florida State University but now he’s considering attending other colleges, such as American University Law School in Washington, D.C., due to the provision.

João Gameiro arrived with his parents from Brazil when he was 2. His goal was to study law at Florida State University but now he’s considering other colleges outside Florida. [ Courtesy of João Gameiro ]

Gameiro compared the provision to a “medieval” measure.

“Perhaps it is a way that DeSantis’ government wants to keep people who would want to change the laws and immigration policies away from being able to do that,” he said.

Danielle Hernandez, an immigration attorney in Ybor City, said the provision is an unnecessary political stunt.

YOU CAN READ THE REST OF THE PIECE HERE: https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2023/08/01/floridas-provision-will-block-aspirations-practice-law-among-certain-immigrants/