Should Pulitzer winner be sent to his place of birth because he is in the U.S. illegally?June 22nd, 2011 by Steven Gardner
Jose Antonio Vargas was part of the Washington Post reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting of the Virginia Tech shootings and the first thing his grandmother said to him was, “Anong mangyayari kung malaman ng mga tao?” (What will happen if people find out?)
Vargas has been in the U.S. since he was 12. His mother sent him here from the Philippines to have a better life. It was a few years before he learned he was here illegally. At that point he became complicit, but he kept it hidden for a long time.
He also managed to get help. And no one who ever knew about his status, including a worker at the Social Security Administration, ever turned him in to immigration authorities.
During his time here in the United States he has demonstrated an amazing record as an achiever.
This is a very interesting story that challenges assumptions of those who would send everyone back and those who would let everyone stay.
I’ve launched a poll. You answer it. Leave your thoughts here, including whether you think there is an option I have missed.
An interesting side note: He was able to buy himself eight years by getting an Oregon driver’s license. He bought five more by getting a license from Washington.
Another interesting side note: The story is in the New York Times because the Washington Post passed on it.