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DREAM Action Coalition Starts Petition Asking for End of Cesar Vargas's Probation

First Posted: Jul 01, 2015 04:47 PM EDT

Photo : Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The DREAM Action Coalition, an immigration activism group, launched a petition to release activist and DREAMer Cesar Vargas from probation so he can obtain his lawyer's license in New York.

In a press release, DREAM Action Coalition (DRM) asked supporters to sign a petition asking Polk County Prosecutor John P. Sarcone, among others, to allow Vargas an early release from probation. The petition, which asked for 1,000 signatures, has already reached 578 as of this writing.

"[A]llow Cesar Vargas to practice law by dropping his probation. This is not special treatment; this is justice! Dreamers like him are not a danger to society," the petition states.

Vargas, one of DRM's co-directors, won the right on June 3 to become a licensed lawyer in New York in spite of being a DREAMer after a court case dating back to 2013. However, earlier in the year Vargas and a group of activists protested an event in Iowa hosted by Republican Rep. Steve King. The police arrested Vargas for trespassing and he was found guilty.

Vargas previously told Latin Post he did not regret his actions, because "I went to Iowa to confront politicians and ask them questions about issues that matter to my family and the country."

Sentenced to one year probation, Vargas cannot receive his license to practice law until the sentence is lifted per New York law. However, the activist and DRM continue to fight so Vargas can be the first DREAMer to become a lawyer in New York.

Vargas has gained support from various places, including well-known New Yorkers within the immigrant Latino community such as Pastor Terry Troia and New York City Councilman Carlos Menchaca.

Councilman Menchaca, in a letter addressed to the Polk County Prosecutor's Office, praised Vargas' work in New York as well as the nationwide immigrant community. His office provided Latin Post with excerpts from that letter.

He has advocated for Ground Zero workers as well as affected families following Superstorm Sandy, explains the councilman. Vargas has also shown his knowledge of the law as well as his desire to help others with it.

"Cesar has already been active within the legal profession in ways that improve the lives of others," wrote Councilman Menchaca. "He has educated immigrants on their rights across the country, spoken on behalf of his community at Congressional hearings, and volunteered in DACA clinics to help young undocumented immigrants apply for deportation relief."

Vargas told Latin Post he hoped to practice law to help his community, a task he already has undertaken through his activism.

"Given Cesar's history of community organizing, advocacy, and activism, and his lack of violent offense, it is my hope that he will be released from probation, allowing him to seek admission into the Bar to practice law," stated Councilman Menchaca.

If the probation is lifted, Vargas would make history as the first DREAMer and undocumented immigrant to practice law in the Empire State.

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