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Jose Antonio Vargas Talks About Life as an Undocumented Immigrant: VIDEO

Ja_vargas

Yesterday I posted about journalist Jose Antonio Vargas' stunning piece in the NYT coming out as an undocumented immigrant. Here's a video he posted on his website, Define American, which also tells his important story.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I don't get it. Is he gay? Why do gays take up so many superfluous causes? The whole LGBT community supporting the plight of the illegals is a mystery to me.

    The dude is illegal. Period. The whole video was overdramatized and sappy. If you want to be a citizen, NATURALIZE!

    Posted by: Joy Bean | Jun 23, 2011 11:20:38 AM


  2. You should read the article, Joy Bean. Yes, he's Gay.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Jun 23, 2011 12:12:24 PM


  3. Easier said than done, Joybean. And yes, this man is gay.

    How is immigration reform a superfluous cause? It's an injustice the way undocumented immigrants are treated and talked about. The vitriol and the rhetoric used is very similar to separating say "straight" from "gay."

    We take up said superfluous causes because we believe in equality and justice for all. Not just for homosexuals, or African Americans, or immigrants, but for anyone who has been and will be confronted with injustice and intolerance by our society. He moved to the United States at the age of 12, and has proven to be a valuable asset to society. Every time a politician or a news anchor or even a regular Joe asserts that "illegal" immigrants waste tax-payers' dollars, think back to this man and the countless others whom you work and live with. They're human too, much like homosexuals are human (surprise surprise!), yet they've been bastardized, humiliated, and talked down upon, much like you and I have for being different.

    So the next time you make another inconsiderate statement as "NATURALIZE," think back to your own struggles, whatever they may be. In the face of adversity, the human spirit tends to persevere. In the face of this man's adversity, he struggled and fought and triumphed (he even got a Pulitzer for it). What can be said about your life?

    Posted by: Jawn | Jun 23, 2011 12:14:46 PM


  4. If you've read the original NY Times piece you know he has attempted to "naturalize" and the official answer is "OK, but first you have to be banned from the US for 10 YEARS!"

    Vargas is gay but there's also a comparison to be made with the way the Republican party has exploited hate and fear of "illegals" as a wedge issue in a way that mirrors very closely the way they've done gays. The GOP formula is that if you can get people scared enough about some "other," you can use that fear to get them to vote for you even when it's against their own interests.

    Obviously the US has the right to protect its borders, to control who comes in. By all means "harden" the border to prevent illegal immigration as much as possible. Fine. But at some point sanity and reason is going to have to enter into the conversation about what to do about those who are already here, many of them for decades. What are we going to do, steal their possessions and load them into cattle cars? Are we going to let the hysterical ninnies in the GOP define this issue as we've allowed them to do so many others, including gay rights? Their grandstanding over who is "toughest" on illegal immigrants (or drugs, or gays) doesn't do a damn thing to actually resolve the problem, which as Vargas' story shows, is complicated and nowhere near as black and white as they make it seem.

    Posted by: Codswallop | Jun 23, 2011 12:51:09 PM


  5. Joybean, you got it so right on the illegal comment.

    Posted by: Shane | Jun 23, 2011 1:23:36 PM


  6. The phrase 'Undocumented Immigrant' is so unfair. Foreigners in the United States illegally are exactly that; using these soft titles to describe is them is Orwellian. This man's story is sad...he should be an American, but it's also incredibly deceptive of the media to prop up the saddest cases as the faces of the people who are here(or were brought here) illegally.

    There are plenty of Americans willing to be cooks, bussers, nannies, construction workers, gardeners, and Pulitzer Prize winning journalists. So let's enforce our laws so that those jobs are open to all Americans.

    Posted by: MarkP | Jun 23, 2011 2:03:27 PM


  7. Mr. Mark P, being just willing doesn't cut it! You have to do something about and it and actually have the talent and strong desire for it. Sure, there are tons willing, but not after they have used up all the unemployment, food stamps and other government benefits.

    Posted by: Dear John | Jun 23, 2011 2:35:07 PM


  8. The first comment above says it all - most Americans are clueless.
    I commend Mr. Vargas for his courage to put a face to the undocumented immigrant issue.

    Posted by: Fred | Jun 23, 2011 8:16:07 PM


  9. Oh, just grant him citizenship already and shut the eff up!

    Posted by: Your Mom | Jun 24, 2011 3:04:44 AM


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