Cesar Vargas, New York’s first openly undocumented attorney, will visit Madison this week and host a public dialogue at from noon until 1 pm Saturday, March 17 at MECHa House, 206 Bernard Court in Madison. He will also appear from 3 until 5 pm on Sunday, March 18, at Centro Hispano, 810 West Badger Road, with University of Wisconsin doctoral candidate and author Sergio González.
The public is invited to “come and listen to Cesar Vargas’ story of becoming the first openly undocumented lawyer of New York, to exchange in dialogue with Cesar and gain his inspiration,” according to a press release. “His story of grit and perseverance reflects the story of many immigrants who come to the United States to make a better life for them and their families and communities.”
Vargas is Co-director of the Dream Action Coalition and an immigration attorney. He came to the United States from Mexico with his parents at the age of 5 and has lived in Brooklyn ever since, according to the release.
Two years ago, Vargas was admitted to the bar after a four-year court battle. Ultimately a five-judge panel found “no rational basis” for prohibiting Vargas from practicing law based on his immigration status alone, defying a federal rule that bans states from issuing professional licenses to “aliens” unless they make specific legislative exceptions.
Vargas is visiting Madison this weekend and he will be making several appearances throughout the area, including as Keynote Speaker for the UW LEO Banquet on Saturday at 6 PM. His visit is hosted by the Alicia Armstrong Law Office, Latino/a Law Students Association, and MEChA de UW-Madison.