Jose Antonio Vargas Hub




Gay Journalist and Immigration Activist Jose Antonio Vargas Detained by Border Patrol in Texas

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Jose Antonio Vargas, the openly gay Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who came out as an “undocumented immigrant” in a high-profile piece in the New York Times back in June 2011, was detained earlier this morning by U.S. Boarder Patrol agents in McAllen, Texas.

The Washington Post reports:

Jose Antonio VargasDefine American, the nonprofit U.S. immigration-reform campaign founded by Vargas, announced the detainment. In a statement Tuesday, Define American campaign director Ryan Eller said: “This morning, Mr. Vargas attempted to board a plane to Los Angeles, where we are scheduled to screen our film ‘Documented.’ Mr. Vargas did not make it through security at the airport. Our understanding is that he is currently being questioned by border patrol. The community leaders standing with me work with constituents and live this reality each and every day.”

Eller called on President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson “to exercise prosecutorial discretion and immediately release Jose Antonio Vargas from Customs and Border Protection custody.”

White House and U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesmen declined to discuss the detention further however. 

The Post adds:

Last week, shortly after his film, “Documented,” aired for the first time on CNN, Vargas wrote in a Politico magazine piece that he’d gone to the U.S.-Mexico border “to visit a shelter for unaccompanied Central American refugees and participate in a vigil in their honor.” He wrote: “I realize that, for an undocumented immigrant like me, getting out of a border town in Texas — by plane or by land — won’t be easy. It might, in fact, be impossible.”

Vargas was held for 8 hours, according to the Washington Post. He was ordered to appear before an immigration judge.

[photo via Twitter]


Documentary on Gay 'Undocumented Immigrant' and Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas to Air: VIDEO

Vargas

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...

Continue reading "Documentary on Gay 'Undocumented Immigrant' and Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas to Air: VIDEO" »


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

Vargas

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...

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


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...

Continue reading "Jose Antonio Vargas Talks About Life as an Undocumented Immigrant: VIDEO" »


Gay Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reporter Jose Antonio Vargas Comes Out as 'Undocumented Immigrant'

Jose Antonio Vargas, a gay journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings in the Washington Post, has written a stunning piece for the NYT in which he comes out as an "undocumented immigrant."

Vargas Writes Vargas:

I’m done running. I’m exhausted. I don’t want that life anymore.

So I’ve decided to come forward, own up to what I’ve done, and tell my story to the best of my recollection. I’ve reached out to former bosses  and employers and apologized for misleading them — a mix of humiliation and liberation coming with each disclosure. All the people mentioned in this article gave me permission to use their names. I’ve also talked to family and friends about my situation and am working with legal counsel to review my options. I don’t know what the consequences will be of telling my story.

Part of the piece discusses his other coming out:

Later that school year, my history class watched a documentary on Harvey Milk, the openly gay San Francisco city official who was assassinated. This was 1999, just six months after Matthew Shepard’s body was found tied to a fence in Wyoming. During the discussion, I raised my hand and said something like: “I’m sorry Harvey Milk got killed for being gay. . . . I’ve been meaning to say this. . . . I’m gay.”

I hadn’t planned on coming out that morning, though I had known that I was gay for several years. With that announcement, I became the only openly gay student at school, and it caused turmoil with my grandparents. Lolo kicked me out of the house for a few weeks. Though we eventually reconciled, I had disappointed him on two fronts. First, as a Catholic, he considered homosexuality a sin and was embarrassed about having “ang apo na bakla” (“a grandson who is gay”). Even worse, I was making matters more difficult for myself, he said. I needed to marry an American woman in order to gain a green card.

Tough as it was, coming out about being gay seemed less daunting than coming out about my legal status. I kept my other secret mostly hidden.

Read the whole thing here.

My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant [nyt]


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