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Jose Antonio Vargas            

Journalist, Filmmaker & Immigration Activist

Jose Antonio Vargas is a journalist, filmmaker and immigration activist. Born in the Philippines and raised in the United States from the age of 12, he was part of The Washington Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2008 for their coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings online and in print. Vargas has also worked for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Daily News and The Huffington Post. He wrote, produced and directed the autobiographical 2013 film "Documented," which was presented by CNN Films and aired in June 2014.

In a June 2011 essay in The New York Times Magazine, Vargas revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant in an effort to promote dialogue about the immigration system in the US. It was also a way to advocate for the DREAM Act, which would help children in similar circumstances have a path to citizenship. A year later, a day after the publication of his Time cover story about his continued uncertainty regarding his status, the Obama administration announced its halt to the deportation of undocumented immigrants age 30 and under eligible for the DREAM Act; Vargas himself did not qualify as he had just turned 31.

Vargas is the founder of "Define American," a non-profit organization intended to open up dialogue about the criteria people use to determine who is an American. About himself he says, "I am an American. I just don't have the right papers."

On July 15, 2014, after living for 21 years in the United States as an undocumented resident, Vargas was arrested by immigration authorities while trying to fly out of the border town of McAllen, Texas. He was released several hours later after being questioned.


From journalism to activism: Jose Antonio Vargas's life on the run ...

Jose Antonio Vargas is running. He's fresh off the red-eye from California to Dulles — his third overnight flight in as many weeks — to deliver yet another speech.

Jose Antonio Vargas partners with Los Angeles Times - Feb. 17, 2015

Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist and undocumented immigrant, is joining forces with the Los Angeles Times to create a new section devoted to race, ...

Jose Antonio Vargas' New Site Aims To Tell Better Story About Race And Identity In America

On Thursday, Vargas launched a crowdfunding campaign for #EmergingUS, a video-heavy digital media outlet he believes can fill a void in covering thorny, overlapping aspects of American identity...

Jose Antonio Vargas on What's at Stake for Undocumented ...

Jose Antonio Vargas discusses 'United States v. Texas,' one of the most important Supreme Court immigration cases in decades.

Jose Antonio Vargas: There's Nothing More American Than Fighting ...

Journalist and immigrant rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas was also in the Supreme Court during Monday's oral arguments in the case, United States v. Texas.

Jose Antonio Vargas' Nonprofit Hires Entertainment Media Director ...

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas' nonprofit organization Define American has tapped Elizabeth Grizzle ...

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