Jose Antonio Vargas

Journalist, Film director

1981 –

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Who is Jose Antonio Vargas?

Jose Antonio Vargas is a journalist, filmmaker, and immigration activist. Born in the Philippines and raised in the United States from the age of 12, he was part of The Washington Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2008 for their coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings online and in print. Vargas has also worked for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Daily News, and The Huffington Post. He wrote, produced, and directed the autobiographical 2013 film Documented which was presented by CNN Films and aired in June 2014.

In a June 2011 essay in The New York Times Magazine, Vargas revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant in an effort to promote dialogue about the immigration system in the US. It was also a way to advocate for the DREAM Act, which would help children in similar circumstances have a path to citizenship. A year later, a day after the publication of his Time cover story about his continued uncertainty regarding his status, the Obama administration announced its halt to the deportation of undocumented immigrants age 30 and under eligible for the DREAM Act; Vargas himself did not qualify as he had just turned 31.

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Feb 3, 1981
  • Philippines
  • San Francisco State University

on July 23, 2013


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