Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who is also an undocumented Philippine immigrant and an immigration reform activist, was detained Tuesday in Texas and is being held at a Border Patrol station.
Vargas traveled to McAllen, Texas last Wednesday to document the crisis of unaccompanied minors at the border and participate in a three-day-long vigil spearheaded by United We Dream and the Minority Affairs Council.
Vargas also made a documentary about his sad stateless situation called Documented, which I reviewed a few months ago. In that film, he explains that since he revealed to the public his actual status (not a citizen of this country and no papers to speak of), he has lived with the fear that at any moment he could be arrested and detained. But this fear hasn't stopped him from traveling around the country (which requires identification papers) and protesting for the rights of those who are like him: US Americans without papers.
A year after Vargas completed the documentary...
About to go thru security at McAllen Airport. I don’t know what’s going to happen. For updates follow @DefineAmerican & @MAC_UTPA
— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) July 15, 2014
Soon after that tweet, Vargas's fears were realized—he was detained. To make matters worse, the governor (Rick Perry) of the state (Texas) in which he is held is completely nuts. He actually believes its current "border crisis" is comparable to the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. For Perry, undocumented immigrants are not a cultural but a natural disaster. Vargas was brave to put even one step into that state.
- From Jose Antonio Vargas's Documentary Documented