Sunday, January 01, 2012

Why US Immigration Doesn’t Deport Pinoy Pulitizer Winner

As long as he did not commit a serious crime, the government of the United States will never waste its resources to zero in and deport confessed undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas.

US has a lot of problems to tackle and prioritize than throw the books on the 30-year-old journalist who shared a Pulitzer award with his American colleagues for their Washington Post coverage of the Virginia Tech carnage four years ago.

In fact, I presume Vargas mustered enough courage to reveal his status in a no-holds-barred article entitled “My life as an undocumented immigrant” he wrote for the New York Times recently because he was aware of the ongoing efforts of the Democrat Obama administration to tilt on the side of those advocating for the mothballed Dream Act bill, which would give children of illegal immigrants educated in the US the chance to become permanent residents.


As founder of Define American which seeks to change the conversation on immigration reform, Vargas is a high profile personality in immigration reform debates. As a campus figure, he was outspoken and is not a fly in the ointment.

Narrating the circumstances of his case could be part of his mandate as immigration reform activist representing a large group of people with similar advocacy.

The disclosure of chronology of events starting when his mother “woke me and put me in a cab” sometime in August 1993 when he was 12 years old to prepare him for a trip to the US in the company of a fake uncle on fake passport and fake name, was necessary to document his case and gain sympathy.

Having paid his state and federal taxes religiously while working for several newspapers and fast food chains on bogus Social Security card, Vargas is a shoo-in for amnesty which the Obama administration has been reported to be cooking in collusion with some moderate Republicans who admire Ronald Reagan.


Also, being a resident of San Francisco Bay Area, Vargas can’t just be easily touched with a ten-foot pole for being an undocumented immigrant.

San Francisco is known as a “Sanctuary City” where illegal immigrants are protected by local ordinance. Sanctuary policies instruct city employees not to notify the federal government of the presence of illegal aliens living in their communities.

The policies also end the distinction between legal resident aliens and illegal aliens – so illegal aliens often benefit from tax payer funded government services and programs too.

Even gays like Vargas enjoy equal treatment from the city’s tolerance and liberal atmosphere.

A former Philippine senator afraid of the wrath of the Catholic Church back home for being gay reportedly wore a lady’s dress openly every time he was in San Francisco.
California is a Democrat state with Gov. Jerry Brown having been catapulted into power through the strong support from the Hispanic community which constitutes the majority in the 11 million illegal immigrants all over the US.

Even if the US Government adopts a hard line policy on undocumented aliens, Vargas, despite his confession, won’t be locked in jail and sent to the Philippines on the first available flight as his name cannot be found in the data of illegal immigrants that have committed serious criminal offenses.

The Obama administ-ration has deported 800,000 illegal in the last three years. But those deportees were hardened criminals involved in drugs trafficking, kidnapping, rape, murder, among other heinous crimes.


The Philippine Government must also refrain from its knee-jerk reaction on Vargas’ case unless he really was serious about wanting to leave the US for good and see his brother and sister in his mother’s second family in the Philippines. Vargas needs travel documents.

Malacañang deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte was reported to have “coordinated immediately” with the DFA after learning of Varga’s predicament.

Across the United States and all over the world, for that matter, there are thousands of Jose Antonio Vargases longing to go home to see their loved ones and who have either been neglected by the Philippine Government or could not bring to public attention their predicament.

The only difference is that they are unknown and bunched in the “among others” list of faceless individuals. And they have not won a Pulitzer prize. /MP

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