An undocumented immigrant’s story: The New York Times Magazine has run a lengthy, engrossing piece authored by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, a Filipino man who’s been living undocumented in America since being sent by his mother at age 12. Vargas’ story is both emotional and instructional, and hammers home the necessity for citizenship options like (at barest minimum) those proposed in the Dream Act. The idea of a child being whisked into America and thus living in fear and hiding is one that evokes sympathetic feelings for a good reason — our society generally tries to protect children from harsh politics and major strife. source
- The fear of fakery Vargas describes going to the DMV at 16, and presenting the clerk with the green card given to him by his grandfather. The woman whispered to him that the card was fake, and told him not to come back. When his grandfather painfully confessed he’d bought a fake green card for him, Vargas decided he couldn’t let anyone doubt he was American.
- Career out of reach With the help of his high school principal and superintendent, Vargas began attending San Francisco State, with an eye on journalism. When he was unable to work an internship due to his immigration status, he decided “if I was to succeed in a profession that is all about truth-telling, I couldn’t tell the truth about myself.”
- Inspiration for action Vargas says he was moved to write this (we must emphasize, our few points here don’t do this justice, you should really read the whole article) when he learned of four undocumented students who walked from Miami to D.C. to lobby for the Dream Act, at risk of deportation. Many thanks to Vargas for this honest, important story.