Cesar Vargas in October 2012 (Marcus Santos/Daily News)
An Iowa judge has denied a request by Cesar Vargas, an undocumented immigrant seeking admission to the New York bar, for early release from probation.
But the decision of whether Vargas will be admitted still rests with a state character and fitness committee.
Vargas, 31, was arrested in January and charged with trespassing for disrupting a speech by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at an event held on private property in Des Moines featuring Republican presidential hopefuls.
Vargas, who came to the United States from Mexico when he was 5 years old and is authorized to be in the country under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, was sentenced in June to one year of probation for the trespassing charge.
He received the sentence one day after a panel of the Appellate Division, Second Department, cleared him for admission to the bar.
In 2012, the Second Department’s Character and Fitness Committee had denied Vargas admission, citing his immigration status, but forwarded the issue along to the appellate court.
Aprilanne Agostino, the court clerk for the Second Department, confirmed in an email that the committee has not yet determined if Vargas’ probation sentence would prevent him from bar admission and has not announced when a determination would be reached.
In an interview Wednesday, Vargas said he has kept the committee, at its request, up-to-date on his legal issues in Iowa and that he had informed it about the judge’s latest decision.
“The waiting continues,” he said.