Jose Antonio Vargas: Pulitzer Prize-winning undocumented immigrant
May 15, 2012
JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS helped The Washington Post win the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 with his coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre, and covered the 2008 campaign. But the heralded reporter isn’t covering this campaign, though he is deeply engaged in the coverage of a key political issue this year: illegal immigration. In a landmark essay last June in The New York Times Magazine titled, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant," Vargas outed himself for the second time (he previously had come out as a gay man). In his provocative public confession, Vargas recounted how his mother sent him when he was 12 to the U.S. from the Philippines with a fake passport. He has since devoted himself to speaking out in the immigration debate. His latest project is called "Define American," a campaign that seeks to "bring new voices into the immigration conversation," specifically teachers, pastors, community leaders, and others who have worked — not always openly — to help undocumented immigrants live peacefully in this country.