Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, has told ABC News that he is an illegal immigrant. Vargas has decided to unveil this secret because he hopes that the spotlight that will inevitably follow him will lead to Congress passing the DREAM act, a bill that would allow immigrant children to become citizens if they go to college or serve in the military.
Vargas’ success makes his confession that much more powerful. He won a Pulitzer for his coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings for The Washington Post and at one point got the elusive Mark Zuckerberg to agree to an interview. Despite all of that, his citizenship status weighed heavily on him:
I wasn’t supposed to be there. I wasn’t supposed to be walking with Mark Zuckerberg. I wasn’t supposed to be interviewing Romney’s sons. Why was I doing it? Because I wanted to survive. I wanted to live. I wanted to earn what it means to be an American.
Vargas’ story is one that needs to be highlighted. It helps erase the stereotype that proponents of anti-immigration laws push.
As he says, “We don’t just mow your lawns and babysit your kids and serve you tacos. We do that. We do a really good job doing that, but we do other things, and we are a part of this society. And I think that everyone deserves dignity.”
Also, please check out Vargas’ Define American website to support him and millions of others.