In a bombshell interview set to air on tomorrow’s editions of “World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline,” former Washington Post and Huffington Post journalist Jose Antonio Vargas reveals that he’s an illegal immigrant.
Vargas, who is coming forward despite deportation fears, explains that he didn’t know he was undocumented until he attempted to get a driver’s permit. Now, he’s working to support immigration reforms, including the contentious DREAM Act. To work toward these efforts, the former reporter founded an organization called Define American (this organization is a project of the Tides Center, which is linked to the Tides Foundation. The latter has received millions of dollars in funding from liberal billionaire George Soros).
TV Newser has more about his story:
Vargas’s mother sent him from the Philippines to live with his grandparents in Mountain View, CA when he was 12 years old. He didn’t realize he was undocumented until, at 16, he went to get his driver’s permit. He eventually got a valid driver’s license from the state of Oregon — the final barrier to being hired by The Washington Post.
A year after joining the Post, in a 2006 interview with FishbowlDC, Vargas talked about owning just one suit, given to him by his high school principal whom he calls his “adoptive mom.” Vargas was a part of the WaPo team that won the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings.
Watch a preview of Vargas’ ABC News interview with Dan Harris, below:
Also, here is a YouTube video in which Vargas explains his immigration challenges:
UPDATE: As the day has progressed, more details about Vargas have come out. National Review reports the following:
Vargas entered the country illegally after his grandfather paid a coyote $4,500 to smuggle him in. The grandfather then obtained a fake passport and green card for Vargas, which they used to acquire a valid Social Security card. But that card, which subjected Vargas’ right to work to the approval of the then-INS, was illegally doctored, allowing Vargas to secure job after job for more than a decade by showing nothing more than a photocopy of a fake document
And MSNBC writes:
Vargas was hired for internships at The San Francisco Chronicle and the Philadelphia Daily News. He was denied an internship at The Seattle Times because he didn’t have all the documents they required. But he kept applying and got an offer from The Washington Post.