Filipino American immigration rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas was lauded as “an icon, a hero, a man that stands up for what he believes in, ” reports the Inquirer.
Vargas received the Community Leadership Award May 8 in Washington, DC.
“I come to you as Filipino, as gay, as undocumented, as American. And my being gay, my being undocumented, my being Filipino: these are facts and not political plot points to be debated.”
Rep Mike Honda was among those in attendance at the award ceremony.
“It’s about time that we recognized somebody like Jose Vargas,” he told the INQUIRER.net. “He’s an icon, he’s a hero, he’s a man that stands up for what he believes in. He’s talented. He would not be in the people’s eyes if he did not stand up for himself and come out and do what is an American move: to be honest and to let everybody know who he is and for that we are stronger and better for it. He’s given a lot of people a lot of courage because of his own courage.”
You can read more reaction to Vargas’ honor from both Republicans and Democrats in the Inquirer