Should Luis Perez Be Given A Chance By Congress To Practice Law?

Should Luis Perez Be Given A Chance By Congress To Practice Law?

12/3/2010

Looking at Luis Perez, one would perhaps see an individual who could become an exemplary citizen or a role model in the future. However, Perez is actually a classic example of how broken the American immigration system is. How so?

Luis Perez is an “undocumented” immigrant who recently got a law degree from the University of California in Los Angeles. He is the first one to have been able to do so. Perez plans to take the California bar exam this coming January.

On the other hand, the immigration status of Perez bars him from law practice, and obviously, prevents him from landing a job in the legal industry.

At the moment, Perez is hoping that Congress will pass the “Dream Act,” a law that would allow undocumented immigrants who graduated from college or served honorably in the U.S. military to pursue a legal career.

According to news reports, Perez was smuggled into the United States when he was just eight years old. Several days after arriving from Mexico, Perez studied hard to learn and master English. Overtime, English dislodged Spanish as his dominant language.

During his teenage years, Perez woke up at 5:30 every morning to ride the bus across San Fernando Valley to get to a high school where he was not considered a social outcast, being a studious young man.

When Perez entered college, the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights, allowed him to enrol. This year, his academic journey culminated with upon his graduation from the UCLA School of Law.

Perez, however, would have to wait until Congress passes the “Dream Act.” For his part, he said, “Being undocumented is not a criminal issue, it’s a civil issue.” Perez further added, “The law sees us not as lawbreakers but as people without legal status.”

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com