Film | Immigration | Jose Antonio Vargas | News

Documentary on Gay 'Undocumented Immigrant' and Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas to Air: 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, is the subject of a new documentary called Documented, written, produced and directed by Vargas himself.

DocumentedThe film chronicles Vargas' experience after revealing his immigration status and his reunion with his mother, whom he had not seen in two decades.

The film will be released in New York at the Village East Cinema on May 2 and in Los Angeles at the Landmark Regent on May 9 prior to an airing on CNN, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Said Vargas to THR:

"As a newcomer to America who learned to 'speak American' by watching movies, I firmly believe that to change the politics of immigration and citizenship, we must change culture -- the way we portray undocumented people like me and our role in society. I am thrilled to be working with CNN, Tugg and BOND/360 to share my story on screens around the country and remind people that when we talk about immigration, we are talking about real people and their families."

Watch the trailer for Documented, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Gay or not, you're still a criminal.

    Posted by: elwoodl | Mar 23, 2014 2:02:58 PM

  2. Whose SSN did he steal to get that job? Isn't that normally called identity theft and fraud?

    Posted by: Carmelo | Mar 23, 2014 2:10:21 PM

  3. I guess they think that if they keep using the term "undocumented" over and over again, that Americans will come to think of illegal immigration as a problem of misplaced paperwork. Utter stupidity.

    Posted by: Tom | Mar 23, 2014 2:14:56 PM

  4. I have to're not an undocumented immigrant, you are an illegal alien. If I sneak into Germany and live there I am not an immigrant, I am a criminal.

    Posted by: Gman | Mar 23, 2014 2:52:45 PM

  5. Wow, comments are filled by a bunch of racists and/or very ignorant people who don't seem to understand immigration or how messed up it is. Cause, you know, it is SO criminal to try and live in the country you were raised in. Who exactly is he actually hurting by being here?

    Unless you are native american, why don't the lot of you go back to the countries you came from? Maybe then you will have some valid insight into immigration policies and their impact and the rest of us can have a country with a booming economy that actually treats people, especially it's workers, with some semblance of decency.

    Posted by: Chlorogoth | Mar 23, 2014 3:02:48 PM

  6. Do home and stop being a criminal. Problem solved.

    Posted by: RayJacksonMs | Mar 23, 2014 3:05:08 PM

  7. I would also like to point out that before 2003 a whole lot of you would be criminals for having sex. So instead of thinking of yourselves has openly gay, think of yourselves as former non-convicted criminals.

    Posted by: Chlorogoth | Mar 23, 2014 3:06:04 PM

  8. I love how the haters clearly cannot read nor hear. kudos to Vargas.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 23, 2014 3:08:25 PM

  9. Nobody said anything racist or that he was hurting anyone, but call it what it is...illegal.

    Posted by: Gman | Mar 23, 2014 3:09:31 PM

  10. Oh, Chlorogoth, resorting to the same predictable tired old clichés to support an argument that would never hold up against the Constitution. Live it. Dream it. #snigger

    Oh, and Little Kiwi, is it? This isn't Vietnam. No one's trying to dodge a draft. Stick to Montreal.

    Posted by: Sean Maloney | Mar 23, 2014 3:11:50 PM

  11. His family sent him to the US at the age of 12. How can you hold him responsible for that?

    It's common sense that he should be considered at least a permanent resident. It's absurd to deport him.

    But I think those adults who come to the US and violate the immigration law, they should be considered felons.

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 23, 2014 3:25:54 PM

  12. undocumented workers aren't the reason americans are out of work.

    you have the wealthy business owners closing shop in the USA so they can open factories and plants in other countries and pay those workers there *peanuts* - Oh, then not pay taxes on the money saved :D

    gee,,,,which party works hardest to ensure the wealthiest can screw over working class americans?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 23, 2014 3:33:09 PM

  13. If America can't process a special visa for this Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, I don't know what would. He has contributed to this country more than any of you would have done in a lifetime.

    Posted by: Ville | Mar 23, 2014 3:34:36 PM

  14. If you weren't born here then you need to return to your native country and apply for citizenship in the U.S. The fact that your mother brought you here when you were three days old and left you with your undocumented grandmother who raised you in the U.S. does not make you a legal American. I think we're all pretty sorry that your parents would do such a cruel thing to you believing you could somehow hide within the population and eventually meld in as a legal citizen. Most people who post here are very liberal but when it comes to illegal entry into the U.S. that's crossing the line. We are doing a great injustice if we were to allow you citizenship over the thousands still standing and waiting in line legally. I don't care how American you appear today. If you don't have the right to be here legally you need to go home to your native country.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Mar 23, 2014 3:37:04 PM

  15. Undocumented Pulitzer Prize winning journalists have always been a huge threat to our real-American way of life. As a 12-year-old, he should have known better! It's not like he was a kid or anything.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 23, 2014 3:44:37 PM

  16. You can always count on Trollroad to have the craziest comments for every occastion.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Mar 23, 2014 3:46:38 PM

  17. The lack of compassion of some of these commenters is disgusting. He was brought here as a child. Calling him a "criminal" because he was brought here by an adult when he was 12 is absurd.

    He grew up here. He is an American. He's worked hard and contributed to society and, frankly, accomplished more before the age of 30 than you xenophobic commenters-- have you won a Pulitzer Prize? I certainly haven't. If you'd bothered to learn this man's story you'd know he's been a hard-working taxpayer. He's not receiving anything for free.

    What would possibly be the benefit of sending him back to a country that he didn't grow up in, where he would have to wait for years to try to get back to the country he did grow up in and has contributed to? Why is his presence here so threatening to you?

    I have nothing but compassion for him. I don't know why it's so hard for you to feel the same compassion.

    In the broader frame of undocumented people, if we sent them all back it would harm our economy. They're already here an integrated into our economy. They find ways to work, they spend the money they earn, most are not running around committing crimes but working hard to provide for their families, both here and back in their birth country.

    We are a very wealthy country. The undocumented aren't stealing jobs from US citizens-- many do jobs citizens wouldn't consider doing. The solution is to let these hard working people stay here legally, especially the Dreamers like Mr. Vargas, who as far as I'm concerned is as American as I am.

    Posted by: Robert | Mar 23, 2014 3:49:15 PM

  18. The point @ROBERT is that Jose Vargas is probably just as American as you are but he was not born here. He is not a legal citizen of this country. He can take his fine American education home to his native country along with his Pulitizer Prize, apply for American citizenship and get in line with all those thousands and thousands of immigrants waiting for the right to enter this country legally. The idea that he is already here should give him a leg up is preposterous. Tell that to the little old lady from Italy who has been waiting for 20 years for the legal right to enter this country to live with her American-Italian family. We simply can't open the flood gates and say "sure, come on in, we've got plenty of room," because we don't. Jose Vargas received his Prize because of his fine American education but that Prize does not come with a free pass to citizenship. That's the reality of illegal entry into this country just as it is in the majority of other countries around the world.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Mar 23, 2014 4:03:53 PM

  19. amen robert!!!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 23, 2014 4:04:05 PM

  20. And I would like to point out that in 2003 GLBTs didn't become criminals and force their way into Canada, because we weren't getting our way in America. We stayed here and change OUR country for the better. Yes it is his parent fault. They were the original criminals but guess what, criminals don't raise honest children. They raise little criminals. Vargas and everyone like him can stop blaming America for wanting to make sure the people that move here will contribute and not just take. He needs to put the blame on his parents where it belongs, then go home and deal with the repercussions of his criminal parents' actions in a legal manner. Until he does he's just another illegal border hopper.

    Posted by: RayJacksonMs | Mar 23, 2014 4:17:35 PM

  21. The people who made this documentary and publicized it are using a gay for sympathy to advance their own homophobic agenda. The fact is, immigrants, legal or not, are more likely to be homophobic, come from homophobic cultures, dislike gays, and continue their homophobic traditions in the US, which threatens gays in the USA. Reject this flimsy Democrat attempt at propaganda.

    Posted by: Kev C | Mar 23, 2014 4:31:34 PM

  22. Chlorogoth: That's an absurd and azinine argument. Why bother having any immigration laws or border controls whatsoever? Since the bulk of the legal population here (regardless of race or color) isn't Native American, then aren't we all "racists" for having anything in place about immigration in your view? Ridiculous. Try and obfuscate however you wish but Vargas is still an illegal immigrant, although one whose case I'm sympathetic with. Btw, I note how you only focus on illegals like Vargas in making your charge yet ignore that the trailer includes those like him of all races (including explicitly one German). We know that illegals come not only from Latin America, although the majority do, or even the Philippines as in the case of Vargas. In fact, there are quite a number from lily-white Euro countries like Russia, Ireland and others. Then there are of course the Canadians.

    Randy: As I said, those illegal immigrants like in Vargas' case I'm probably the most sympathetic with. I wouldn't have much of a problem of a "path to citizenship" for those who were brought here as kids and this is essentially the only country they know. Well, except for the very few violent criminals whom I'm perfectly willing to use a technicality in deporting because we have enough native-born ones. I'm actually a realist on all the other cases as well and favor a compromise, but not like this. Push this meme of "racist" and politicization and frankly their advocates can pizz off instead. Except for those like Vargas. Those ones I'm okay with regardless since they are essentially American already even if illegal in status.

    Mike Ryan: I understand where you are coming from, but let's be real about this. It would only take a few videos on the news of women and children being forcibly deported for any such efforts to collapse. I'm okay with compromising on the matter for this reason and others but refuse to be bullied into it. Those folks can pizz off IMO.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Mar 23, 2014 4:36:20 PM

  23. @KevC: I guess you missed the part about the documentary being written, produced, and directed by Vargas himself.

    Immigration threads on TR bring out almost as much irrational hysteria as ones involving tattoos or gender identity.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 23, 2014 4:49:58 PM

  24. @MikeRyan: sending Mr. Vargas to the Philippines will not free up room on the list for your little old Italian lady (and please take note your demanding that a person of color leave so a white European can head on over). Wouldn't it be more sensible, more cost- effective and more humane just to find a way for him to stay here legally, even if it's without citizenship? The fact is, we do have plenty of room. The approximately 12 million undocumented are already here and, as I said above, the overwhelming majority of them are contributing to our economy, not taking from it. Maybe you live somewhere where you've never met an undocumented person. I've known a lot of them.

    @RayJackaonMS: what is this obsession about using the word "criminal" and inferring that Mr. Vargas and others like him "just take?" I will repeat: if you'd bothered to read this man's remarkable and landmark NY Times article, you'd know that he has worked and supported himself all his adult life. He's paid taxes. Every undocumented person I've known (and many I suspect were undocumented) ALL work and support themselves.

    It is remarkable that gay people, whose sexual behavior was illegal in many states not that long ago, can't just find some compassion for undocumented people instead of shouting out Fox News nonsense like "criminals!" and "send them all back!"

    It is impossible to deport 12 million people. It will NEVER happen. And it would damage our economy. I prefer to live in the real world and address things in a real-world, practical way. The most logical solution is to find a way for them to come out of the shadows and find a sensible way to let them live here legally and continue to contribute to society.

    As for MikeRyan's little old Italian lady, the entire immigration system needs a compete overhaul. I don't know if old Italian women are really waiting 20 years to come here, but there is a way to change the system to make it easier for people to move here. The problem is, many politicians in Washington and especially Republicans have no interest in doing so. Republicans like it the way it is now so their xenophobic base can have yet another group to hate-- all those illegals stealing jobs from all those Republicans, and all those people Jan Brewer says are coming into Arizona and murdering people.

    Posted by: Robert | Mar 23, 2014 4:52:56 PM

  25. Ernie, tons of gays are Democrat stooges who would sell out gay interests for the sake of some political power. Look at JMG (and defunct Pam's "blenders"). They protest that they aren't cash machines for the Democrats - become tools for the Dems. Total sell outs.

    Posted by: Kev C | Mar 23, 2014 5:06:36 PM

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