Photo: José Antonio Vargas: Illegal Immigrant Pulitzer Prize Journalist
The Pulitzer Prize winner will talk about it tonight and tomorrow night on an ABC special interview.
“You can call me whatever you want to call me. But I am an American,” said José Antonio to Dan Harris, from ABC.
José Antonio is telling everyone his story because he wishes to support the millions of illegal immigrants in the United States, while at the same time drawing attention to the DREAM Act.
José Antonio Vargas wrote the following on “The New York Times” about a phone call he made to his mother (who he hasn’t seen in 18 years), trying to “fill the gaps in my memory” about the day he left for the United States:
“My mother told me I was excited about meeting a stewardess, about getting on a plane. She also reminded me of the one piece of advice she gave me for blending in: If anyone asked why I was coming to America, I should say I was going to Disneyland.”
Vargas grew up with his grandparents. When he was 16, he discovered his green card was fake at the DMV office, applying for a Drivers License.
Upon realizing his precarious situation, young José Antonio realized that he “could never give anyone reason to doubt I was an American. I convinced myself that if I worked enough, if I achieved enough, I would be rewarded with citizenship. I felt I could earn it.”
False documents that he obtained through the years allowed him to stay in the United States and live in Oregon; a friend of his provided a mailing address.
“Are we seriously going to deport 11 million people?” Vargas asked José Antonio to Dan Harris. “That’s the estimated number of undocumented people in this country. We’re not seriously going to do that. We have not had a really serious conversation about this issue.“
“We are a part of this society. And I think everyone deserves dignity.”
Don’t miss the whole interview tonight and Friday!