Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and undocumented immigrant advocate Jose Antonio Vargas charmed the room at the Filipino American Press Club in New York, reported GMA News. The dreamer movement has come a long way since Vargas stirred controversy by coming out as an undocumented immigrant.
Immigration reform is being debated in Congress with support from both sides of the political aisle and for the first time, dreamers can apply for deferred action under President Obama’s program.
“A lot of Filipinos recognize me at airports,” Vargas acknowledged when asked about being in the spotlight. ” Chicago’s O’Hare is the friendliest. Uy ikaw yung TNT ano? The TSA agent recognizes me, the cabin at JFK maybe three or four times. One time in Miami I think one of the captains took a picture with me. He’s Cuban. A woman at JFK said to me, I know who you are. She said her brother-in-law, a Jamaican, doesn’t have papers either.”
Ultimately he said he would like to earn citizenship for the undocumented.
“Undocumented people like me paid billions of dollars in taxes, we are the core of the economy of this country. Want me to speak English? Done. Want me to get in the back of the line so we’re not bumping off everybody who’s been waiting for years? It’s earned citizenship. That’s my position.”
Vargas spoke and answered questions from the Press Club for two hours. You can read a lot more about what he had to say in GMA News.