Immigration | Jose Antonio Vargas | News

Applause Rings Out for Gay Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas's Emotional Testimony on Immigration Reform: VIDEO


Jose Antonio Vargas, a gay journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings and in June 2011 came out as an "undocumented immigrant" in a stunning piece in the New York Times, gave a thought-provoking, applause-inspiring, powerful round of testimony at immigration reform hearings on Wednesday afternoon, Think Progress reports.

Fighting back tears, Vargas asked:

"For all the undocumented immigrants who are actually sitting here, at this hearing, for the people watching online and for the 11 million of us, what do you want to do with us?” And to me, the most important question, as a student of American history is this — how do you define an American, how do you define it?"

Watch his emotional testimony, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. "For all the undocumented immigrants who are actually sitting here, at this hearing, for the people watching online and for the 11 million of us, what do you want to do with us?”

    We want to send your law-breaking a$$es back to the countries you are citizens of.

    "And to me, the most important question, as a student of American history is this — how do you define an American, how do you define it?"

    One way of defining it is that if you came to this country illegally and are a citizen of another country, then you are NOT an American and therefore have no right to even be posing the question in the first place.

    Posted by: Rick | Feb 13, 2013 3:18:49 PM

  2. Calm down Rick, you obviously have some sort of personal issues. Let the adults talk.

    Posted by: reality | Feb 13, 2013 4:02:26 PM

  3. I wonder whose SSN and identity he stole to get that job. Remember, every 'honest' tax paying illegal has stolen someone's identity.

    Posted by: me | Feb 13, 2013 4:04:44 PM

  4. Is that true? Do an undocumented person have to use a fake social security number to work 'legally'? Isn't there a way to check the number?

    Posted by: bravo | Feb 13, 2013 4:13:20 PM

  5. @Rick,

    xenophobic much?

    If you had bothered to watch the video, you would have learned that he was brought here as child and has lived and contributed in this country all his life. This is the country he knows and belongs too.

    Posted by: HK449 | Feb 13, 2013 4:14:01 PM

  6. If people want to move to the US, let em! If they work, who cares where they came from?

    Also, something people seldom get right...all people pay taxes in the US and a lot of time "illegals" pay more than the rest, because they can't file for tax refunds.

    And if they get paid under the table then the business owner should be put in jail for tax evasion rather than blaming/deporting the immigrant.

    Posted by: Chrisme | Feb 13, 2013 4:38:36 PM

  7. HK449; Don't ask him to show some empathy, that it will be too much for him

    Posted by: jjose712 | Feb 13, 2013 4:39:27 PM

  8. Hey...Rick. I'd be willing to bet real money you've got ancestors who came to this country with no papers at all and settled on land stolen from native Americans, land to which they had no rights. This country has broken so many treaties,lied so often and stolen so much, we're all illegal immigrants into someone's country. So why don't you STFU, you callous, entitled, vicious, arrogant scumbag. You have no more right to be here than anyone else.

    Posted by: RWG | Feb 13, 2013 4:56:14 PM

  9. Thank you, RWG. I, and many others who frequent this blog just don't have the energy anymore.

    Engery or patience...dammit.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 13, 2013 5:10:19 PM

  10. I do have a sincere question, one for the guy sitting in front of the Subcommittee, one for our Rick:

    Jose: If he's known since he was a teenager, why haven't he pursued legal status? Maybe he has and it hasn't worked out?

    Rick: Why, when you know the replies you'll get, do you act in such a childish and infantile way? I wonder what anyone who "trolls" websites has for motivation. Maybe the shame and pain gets you off (I've know folks who did). Maybe you have some distorted idea of right and wrong where you feel that mocking others somehow improves your own standing.

    I don't go onto Fox News and say moderate things, because I would be seen as one of those outliers when I am anything but.

    And if you say my words are hurtful (childish and infantile are sometimes used as insults, but that is not my intent here because they also address and identify the type of behavior you display). Analysis isn't the same thing as insult. If you take it that way, that would probably be your issue.

    To all: I agree that unless you're 100% Native Aborigine, you're a squatter here in this place in some form or fashion.

    If you're Homosapien you're part of a group that (generally) destroyed another human race (Neanderthal) and took their lands.

    We are all illegal. We are all alien. Some people just don't feel the need to try and make others feel bad about whatever their status happens to be.

    Posted by: SoSeriouslyY | Feb 13, 2013 6:46:23 PM

  11. @Rick - obviously you do not know anything or care much about the immigration system in the US.
    I came here over 8 years ago from Europe, completely legal as a student, and I found the man that I love and care very deeply for, and our relationship was overshadowed every day by the threat of me having to leave the country once I graduated. It was an extremely challenging time not knowing what would happen. Luckily for me, after graduation I found a boos who himself immigrated to the US and understood that I needed a green card. I still have, however, a different nationality because I need to stay in the US for at least 5 years in order to apply for citizenship. Just like Jose, who worked hard and contributed to society, and paying his taxes, I feel that many people do not even care to relate to what people are going through who come to this country. Jose was a child when he was brought here - he is more American than anything else.

    And whoever thinks that an immigrant is stealing somebody else's SSN - that is utterly uninformed and probably taken straight from a Fox "News" report.

    Thanks to everybody else who supports immigration as well as showing some empathy.

    Posted by: OG | Feb 13, 2013 9:55:48 PM

  12. Important point: He can't legalize under current immigration law because he's gay. He entered the US lawfully, so if he married a us citizen he could apply for a green card without leaving the US. But, if he leaves (such as to get a work visa) he's banned from returning for 10 years. He never had a chance to do it "the right way" because he was brought as a child--unless he had departed when he turned 18.

    Posted by: Neil | Feb 13, 2013 11:18:32 PM

  13. His grandfather is a naturalised US citizen. He came to the US to live with his grandfather when he was 16. Why did he not apply for citizenship then? Aren't you eligible if your guardian is a US citizen?
    Also why is the fact that he is gay relevant to this story?

    Posted by: D | Feb 14, 2013 1:44:52 AM

  14. Sorry, not in favor of illegal immigration. Especially considering how religious and conservative these communities can be. It's not only a shot in the foot for me as a gay man, but as a black person; the black community already has enough problems with our people out of work and no one giving a dang. I guess our people just don't matter enough. Even though African Americans are Americans.

    Posted by: K.C | Feb 14, 2013 8:05:51 AM

  15. Even though we're sold on the idea that all illegal immigrants want is a better life, and many do; there's also many adverse effects to it as well. The public education system has completely suffered as a result of their kids in classes at levels they don't belong. The education gets watered down for everyone because we have kids who can't grasp the basic language, and 4th grade level curriculum isn't being taught till 7th or 8th grades. Talk to any teachers. I do on a daily basis in California.

    Posted by: Lesbiandiva | Feb 14, 2013 8:08:58 AM

  16. That's all fine and well, but you hve to secure the borders more now. This is like a magnet. Rewarding people here who are here illegally and not tightening the borders at the same time will result in such a massive influx of new illegals that our country will indeed go to total third world status. And to be ignorant about that fact won't make it go away.

    Posted by: Cortz | Feb 14, 2013 8:10:21 AM

  17. Why don’t we just give Rick credit for being a red neck sophomoric idiot, and leave it at that. To accept people with his totally limited point of view only give credence to their limited intelligence. Possibly he should consider joining that wonderful Baptist Church the insults the honor of members of our arm forces at their funerals,.

    He is equally worthy of their support, but not ours!

    Posted by: EJC | Feb 14, 2013 12:18:04 PM

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