Country's Best Known Undocumented Immigrant Released From Custody


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This image shows Border Patrol agents arresting Jose Antonio Vargas at the airport Tuesday. (Twitter/@ryangrim)
Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented immigrant and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, was detained by Border Patrol agents in McAllen, Texas, Tuesday morning and then released toward the end of the day.
Vargas was attempting to board a plane to Los Angeles at the McAllen-Miller International Airport when he was detained. Following his release, he issued a statement that read in part:

“I’ve been released by Border Patrol. I want to thank everyone who stands by me and the undocumented immigrants of south Texas and across the country. Our daily lives are filled with fear in simple acts such as getting on an airplane to go home to our family. With Congress failing to act on immigration reform, and President Obama weighing his options on executive action, the critical question remains: how do we define American?”

Moments before he was detained, Vargas alerted his Twitter followers that he would be attempting to pass through security at the airport.
Vargas traveled to McAllen to document the border crisis surrounding the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the border through Texas to come to the United States. More than 57,500 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended at the southern border since October, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
He also visited the Texas border town to take part in a three-day-long vigil outside of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. At the vigil — organized by United We Dream and the Minority Affairs Council — supporters highlighted the stories of unaccompanied minors who have fled their home countries in Central America because of increased levels of violence.
Vargas was once an unaccompanied minor himself. He revealed in a New York Times Magazine article published in 2011 that he came to the U.S. from the Philippines without his mother.  Frustrated and disturbed by the way the unaccompanied minors crisis at the border has been handled both by politicians and the media, Vargas wanted to go to Texas to share his own story.
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