Alex Brandon/AP

Cesar Vargas, who became the first undocumented immigrant in New York to beĀ approved for a law license earlier this month, is now having that privilege delayed because of hisĀ civil disobedience related to immigration reform.

Vargas, who disrupted a Republican presidential candidate forum in Iowa in January, was convictedĀ by a local jury for misdemeanor trespassing earlier this yearĀ and given a sentence of one-year probation earlier this month, the Des Moines Register reports. Because New York doesn't swear in new lawyers until they complete their probation, he'll now have to wait to take on his historic accomplishment.

Vargas and another protester were arrested by police at theĀ Iowa eventĀ after interrupting a speech byĀ New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.Ā Vargas asked him whether he would deport his 70-year-old mother.Ā "I simply went, as the American that I feel I am, to ask my potential president a question that matters to my family," heĀ told theĀ Register.

The New York ruling that approved him for a law licenseā€”one that could set a precedent for other undocumented immigrants around the countryā€”came during Vargas' trespassing trial in Iowa.

Vargas was hoping to be officially sworn in as a lawyer on June 26, but now theĀ could be delayed up to a year.Ā HeĀ has asked the court to let him out of probation early, but local officials disagree.Ā "When you decide to engage in civil disobedience, there are consequences to that," the prosecutor in the case, John Sarcone, told the Register. "I assume he weighed all his options before he did what he did."

Advertisement

But Vargas says he was exercising his right to free speech, and that his crime was small enough that it shouldn't be an issue.

"When they say that I haven't been rehabilitated, I guess kind of implying that I'm a danger to society, for me it's unfortunate," Vargas said.

Casey Tolan is a National News Reporter for Fusion based in New York City.