Border Patrol Detains 'Most Privileged' US Illegal Immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas

Border Patrol Detains 'Most Privileged' US Illegal Immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas, who has described himself as the country’s “most privileged” illegal immigrant, was detained in McAllen, Texas on Tuesday as he tried to go through security at McAllen Airport without U.S. identification. 

Vargas Tweeted that he did not know what was going to happen when he went through airport security, and his organization, Define American, Tweeted that the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) had detained him and taken him to the McAllen Border Patrol station. 

Vargas, a former journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, came out as an illegal immigrant in the New York Times three years ago. He went to McAllen to support and document the illegal immigrant children who unlawfully crossed the border and are in detention centers. 

Writing in Politico, Vargas recently said a DREAMer in McAllen informed him about “the reality on the ground in a border town like McAllen” and warned Vargas that he “might not get through airport security, where Customs and Border Protection (CPB) also checks for IDs, and you will definitely not get through the immigration checkpoints set up within 45 miles of this border town.”

Vargas admitted that his celebrity and “visibility, frankly, has protected me.” He said that “while hundreds of thousands of immigrants have been detained and deported in the past three years, I produced and directed a documentary film, Documented, which was shown in theaters and aired on CNN less than two weeks ago.” He also co-founded an advocacy organization for illegal immigrants. 

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