Illegal immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas praised President Obama’s decision to grant millions of illegal immigrants legal status in America.
Vargas went public as an illegal immigrant in 2011 and founded the group Define American to highlight the plight of people just like him.
Since then, Vargas has been detained by immigration officials but eventually released after political standoffs highlighted in the media.
During remarks in Washington, D.C., Thursday afternoon, he pointed out that he was raised in America reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
“I’d been pledging allegiance to this flag that does not recognize me, and it does not recognize us,” he said. “Tonight, I think we’re going to get closer to that by the action of this President,” he added, calling it a “step in the right direction.”
Vargas also held up a copy of the Constitution, reading aloud the passage where the Founders wrote that “all men are created equal.”
“I actually thought they were talking about me,” Vargas said. “So I’m hoping that tonight that happens.”