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Immigration activist detained after visiting US-Mexico border

In our last post, we talked about the growing humanitarian crisis at the border of the United States and Mexico. Tens of thousands of children are being left there after their families sent them to the U.S. with the hope of them crossing the border. Now, this humanitarian crisis has led to an immigration activist and self-outted undocumented immigrant being arrested in a border town.

Jose Antonio Vargas has won a Pulitzer prize and is renowned for his work as an immigration activist. In 2011, he wrote an article about how he is an undocumented person. But since then, Vargas has met little resistance from the authorities. That all changed when he visited the U.S.-Mexico border recently.

He was arrested and detained at an airport when he tried to go through security with only his passport from the Philippines. What happens next is anyone's guess, but it is unlikely he'll be deported given his good standing and humanitarian work. We don’t know if he has a criminal history, but given his recent track record, it seems very unlikely -- which makes his deportation or any other serious action unlikely as well.

It's just another one of those "facepalm" moments that seem to be happening more and more with the U.S. immigration policy. Of course, they are enforcing the law by dealing with someone who is in the country illegally. But the greater question here is how do we stop these embarrassing incidents from happening?

There are plenty of average people -- good, hardworking people -- who aren't U.S. citizens living in the U.S. Should they have to live the rest of their lives in fear? Should the country burn through millions of dollars to investigate, detain and deport such people? A major revision of the immigration policy is needed.

Source: Gawker, "Immigration Reform Activist Jose Antonio Vargas Detained In Texas," Dayna Evans, July 15, 2014

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber