Allow DACA Recipients and Undocumented Immigrants to Practice Law in Kentucky
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Right now, it is not clear whether the Board of Bar Examiners in Kentucky will deny a person's application to practice law in Kentucky based solely on the applicant's immigration status. Allowing DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants to practice law in Kentucky will 1) recognize that these aspiring lawyers are as American as people with citizenship and ought to enjoy the opportunity to pursue their professional aspirations and 2) increase access to justice of some of Kentucky's most marginalized communities by licensing attorneys who are fluent in other languages and sensitive to the various cultures of migrant communities in Kentucky.
We are asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to amend Supreme Court Rule 2.011 to make it clear that bar admission will never be denied to an applicant based solely on his or her immigration status.
Seven states have already made it clear that undocumented immigrants can practice law in those states. Furthermore, the American Bar Association—hardly a bastion of progressive activism—recently passed a resolution stating that “the American Bar Association supports the principle that bar admission should not be denied based solely on immigration status.” Kentucky should join these states and the ABA and say, without equivocation, “We evaluate an applicant as a whole person and will never use immigration status alone to deny a person of high character and fitness admission to the Kentucky bar.”
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