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Pulitzer-winning journalist admits he's illegal immigrant

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-11 11:30 PM
Original message
Pulitzer-winning journalist admits he's illegal immigrant
WASHINGTON A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who covered the Virginia Tech massacre for the Washington Post went public Wednesday with a secret he has been keeping for nearly two decades: He is an illegal immigrant.

Jose Antonio Vargas tells ABC News in interviews airing Thursday and Friday that he is outing himself as one of millions of illegal U.S. immigrants after living with the secret for years. He also told his story in a New York Times Magazine essay published online Wednesday.

"I'm done running. I'm exhausted," Vargas wrote. "I don't want that life anymore."

He says that now he wants to push Congress to pass a bill called the DREAM Act that would allow people like him to become citizens if they go to college or serve in the military.

more . . . http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43499929/ns/us_news-life /
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-11 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. I support his efforts to become a citizen.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-11 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. He's brave for speaking out
It's a pretty interesting story.
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. He noted in his article that his grandparents were naturalized US citizens
www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/magazine/my-life-as-an-undoc...

"My grandparents were naturalized American citizens he worked as a security guard, she as a food server and they had begun supporting my mother and me financially when I was 3, after my fathers wandering eye and inability to properly provide for us led to my parents separation."

So couldn't his grandparents have petitioned Mrs. Vargas and Jose for citizenship?

I posted the original article in Editorials & Other Articles: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. The rules prevented them from sponsoring their married daughter
Mr. Vargas's mother, even though she was separated/divorced (not sure what the exact relationship between her and his father were). It's covered in the article.
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. the article said that JAV's parents were separated
and that JAV's mother never came to America, so couldn't the grandparents have adopted JAV if he was going to live with them?
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. I don't know what the rules were at the time about adoption
His grandparents may have considered that they had done what they could or what they needed to with the forged documents.
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. as citizens they could've known they could go to court and seek formal custody of Jose
and here's the USCIS page on immigration through adoption (you might need to refresh it while it's loading to read it). The Philippines is part of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption that was signed in 1993 (the year Jose came to America). So he'd go through the Hague process. It's sad how he had a family connection to America but never got to take advantage of that.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 02:31 AM
Response to Original message
3. That kind of stress is so bad for you.
I hope someone figures out a fix for Jose.
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MrDiaz Donating Member (365 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 05:57 AM
Response to Original message
4. DAMN those corporations that
hire illegal immigrants. We need to go after ABC because the corporations that hire them here are the problem... right???
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Repubs would love to punish the Post to death.
:)

They would love to have an "Alabama-style" immigration law so they could yank the business license of the Post.
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WilmywoodNCparalegal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 06:36 AM
Response to Original message
6. So, how did he get hired?
What kinds of documents did he show for his I-9? If he knowingly used documents that are false, then that's a totally different ballgame. What social security number is he using?
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Lance_Boyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Seriously - he's been committing fraud(s) for decades.
Should make it real easy for ICE when illegals out themselves as illegals - as if they're proud of it! Somehow I doubt we'll see this guy on the next bus to TJ, though.

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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. "illegals"
:eyes:
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 06:46 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. It's all in the article.
Which is a great read.
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. But it's not a crime-crime
because people say it isn't.

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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 07:16 AM
Response to Original message
9. Wow!
Birds have more freedom than humans
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WilmywoodNCparalegal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 07:31 AM
Response to Original message
10. So he knowingly used a SSN obtained with a fake passport
Sorry. I don't feel sorry for him. I am a legal green card holder. I went through all the painstaking applications, petitions, filing fees and - more importantly - 14 years of waiting to make sure I did things by the book. Thousands upon thousands do the same (by the book) on a daily basis. Part of being a welcomed guest is to respect that country's laws (at least that's what I was thought by my parents).

This guy's grandfather knowingly procures a FAKE passport and then he obtains a social security number based upon a faked passport... that's fraud. That's dishonest and unethical. It has nothing to do with his immigration status - once you cross that line by obtaining false documents, you lose whatever ethical grounds you had (and I do agree that children who were brought illegally to the U.S. should be granted a path to citizenship or permanent residence - in other words, I support the DREAM Act).

He could have called his congressperson and asked for a private bill or he could have talked to a lawyer (there were a couple of amnesties in place, including one in 2001-2002 that could have served him well) or he could have gone back to the Philippines, as painful as that might have been (I faced a similar situation when my parents, sick and tired of paying expensive college tuition, and facing even more years for my green card to arrive, were advised that perhaps I should leave the U.S. and go back to Italy - where I would have been alone without relatives and fending for myself without a job - fortunately, I got married before that time came).
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. and most of all grandpa was a US citizen
Edited on Thu Jun-23-11 05:12 PM by alp227
I don't know what drove him to go the illegal route rather than formal petition for citizenship or adoption (see my reply 13). And I too support a path to citizenship for illegals brought here before age 16 or so. You can't tell me that they deserve to be deported (unless they commit crimes of course). But there's really no defending human smuggling, ilelgal employment, or document falsification.
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tishaLA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #10
24. Read his article
he talked to lots of lawyers and had good people help him get the best help possible. There was nothing they could do.

And I think it's great that you got a green card, but it wasn't Jose's choice that, at 12 years old, his mother handed him off to a coyote who brought him to the US. Nor was it his choice when his Lolo obtained a fake social security card for him. He has done the best he could with the hand dealt to him. That, unfortunately, required that he either return to the Philippines--a country he didn't remember well, where he would live in destitution--or finding ways of fulfilling his promise by using his faked social security card to obtain a driver's license. And working to excel as an American.

BTW, Jose didn't have the opportunity to get married so he could have legal status here. He's gay.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
11. Now with the money he has likely accumulated as a prize winning
journalist, he can return to the Philippines, live well on that money, and if he so decides apply for entry into the US as a legal immigrant.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. I believe that once someone has been caught violating immigration law, he is
from that point forward excluded from legally immigrating to the US.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 04:11 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Then he can stay in the Philippines and live well on the money he
accumulated while living a life of fraud as an illegal immigrant.

But he can still apply, even though the application may well be denied.
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. and he speaks Tagalog so he shouldn't have a problem in his native country.
Edited on Fri Jun-24-11 11:28 AM by alp227
America ain't got nothing to lose if he leaves, I'm sure he can find a journalism job in the Philippines. Since he was brought to the US as a child, I don't think that ICE should count that against him if he ever re-applies for legal residency in the future. And if he has a deportation on record, does that prevent him from legally immigrating to any other nation such as Canada or the UK? On the other hand, since JAV has said he's gay, I doubt that he could survive in the heavily Catholic Philippines, so maybe he could have a hardship case.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. There are people in the Philippines who speak English. Other languages
Edited on Fri Jun-24-11 12:19 PM by Obamanaut
as well.

There are English newspapers printed, and other languages as well, in the Philippines. A prize-winning writer should be able to find an outlet for his writing there, assuming he needs or wants to work.

Immigrants who do not speak English manage to survive in the US. For that matter, consideration is given to many who are English-challenged by having multi lingual signs, labels on food products, etc.
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