Jose Antonio Vargas, (a confessed TNT – translated as always in hiding in Filipino language ) had lived 18 years of his life in shadows in the United States. He finally came out to the open in May 2011 and admitted that he has been an undocumented immigrant from the Philippines. He did this to support DREAM ACT (The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) a decade long immigration bill still pending for legislation in congress. The passage of this bill into law would provide certain illegal alien students the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency. There are 11.2 million reported illegal immigrants in the US since last year, 2010.
Born in Antipolo, Philippines, he was 12 years old in 1993 when his mother sent him to the United States to stay with his grandparents and live his American Dream. He grew up in Mountain View California, attended high school over there and graduated with a degree in Political Science and Black Studies at San Francisco State University.
While he was a freshman in college, he worked part time at the San Francisco Chronicle sorting mails and writing freelance articles. He saw his passion for a reporting job so he embarked on a series of internships at the Philadelphia Daily News in 2001, Seattle Times thereafter, the Times and later The Washington Post, who hired him in 2004, immediately after his college graduation. In 2007, he was part of the Washington Post team covering the Virginia Tech shootings, earning a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting. He also worked for the Huffington Post as Technology and Innovations Editor.
In June 22, 2011, The New York Times published his article “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant”. He mentioned how he was inspired last year by the courage of four students who walked from Miami to Washington to lobby for the Dream Act. He bravely quoted , “We’re not always who you think we are. Some pick your strawberries or care for your children. Some are in high school or college. And some, it turns out, write news articles you might read. I grew up here. This is my home. Yet even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own” (Jose Antonio Vargas, New York Times, June 2011).
Uncertain on what future may bring to him because of his admission, he had resigned somehow to his fate if Homeland Security decides to deport him back to the Philiipines. Being such a high profile, it will give a wrong signal to the public if ever immigration will decide on his favor to grant him legal status just because of his accomplishments over the years and his having educated and graduated in the US.