Best-Known Undocumented Immigrant Released
Journalist, filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas temporarily held at Texas airport
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 15, 2014 11:05 AM CDT
Updated Jul 15, 2014 5:52 PM CDT
In this Feb. 13, 2013 file photo, Jose Antonio Vargas testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, whose documentary on undocumented immigrants aired last month on CNN, was released by US Border Patrol agents after being detained earlier today at a Texas airport, the AP reports. Though it's not clear if this was the case with Vargas, the AP notes it's common for the Border Patrol to release people on their own recognizances, with notices to appear in court later. With such notices, people can generally travel throughout the US without being detained again.

Vargas, who revealed his undocumented status in a 2011 essay, was at the border with Mexico to support child migrants; after arriving, he learned that he was in a specially-patrolled area and may not be allowed out without documentation, Business Insider reports. "I didn’t realize just how much a militarized zone the Texas border is," Vargas told the Dallas Morning News on Sunday. The journalist tweeted earlier today that he was "about to go thru security at McAllen Airport. I don’t know what’s going to happen." A Huffington Post reporter then tweeted a photo of Vargas being handcuffed an hour later. Vargas came to the US at age 12, CNN notes. His only IDs for airport security, he tweeted, are his "Philippine passport and my pocketbook US Constitution."

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Showing 3 of 105 comments
John In Tennessee
Jul 16, 2014 1:30 PM CDT
Why is this man still here? He was processed by ICE/BP in Texas? He testified before Congress? A country without borders is not a country. When I was a kid, America was a "melting pot" which referred to the assimilation of immigrants into American culture. Today we are becoming a Balkanized nation. In our fear of being labelled racist, exclusionary, xenophobes, etc we now actually naturalize people who do not speak English. This is an interesting link: http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/naturalization-test Try the practice test. Download the study materials in English, Spanish or Chinese. I got 24 of 25. Missed a question about the authors of the Federalist Papers. To become a citizen, you will have to answer 6 of the 10 questions they pick at random from the 100 questions there are. In English, unless you qualify for an exemption.
Tippi
Jul 16, 2014 11:26 AM CDT
U.S. Constitution applies to U.S. citizens. Not someone living illegally in the country. If he has been in the country since he was 12, why has he made no effort to become a legal citizen? I have no problem with immigrants coming into our country LEGALLY. I do, however, have issue with people coming into the country illegally, never making any effort to learn the language (not saying this is the case with Jose Vargas) and expecting handouts.
Tony Ventana
Jul 16, 2014 9:56 AM CDT
Send the Flip back to the Philippines!!