US: Jose Antonio Vargas, an out gay undocumented activist, currently detained in Texas
Jose Antonio Vargas, a noted activist for both LGBT rights and the rights of undocumented people, has been detained by Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas after attempting to board a plane to Los Angeles.
Immigration Equality said in a press release that Vargas, an out gay undocumented immigrant, is in danger of being deported and is currently being held at a detention center that is not safe for LGBT immigrants.
He originally traveled to the border in support of United We Dream and the Minority Affairs Council, who have been working to aid refugee children who have fled countries in Central America due to increased levels of violence.
Early Tuesday, Vargas tweeted: “About to go thru security at McAllen Airport. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
He also tweeted a picture of his Philippine passport and pocketbook US Constitution, stating they were the only documents he had for security.
Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter who was ineligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, missing the age cap eligibility requirements by 1 year at the time of its signing.
Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, a gay undocumented immigrant and Deputy Managing Director at United We Dream, said in the release: “Every day thousands of LGBTQ immigrants live under the perpetual fear of detention and deportation.
“Detention centers are unprepared to protect the safety of LGBTQ immigrants. We are highly concerned for the safety of Jose Antonio Vargas, we demand his immediate release from custody.
“His situation exemplifies the role and policy of border patrol who continue to detainee low priority cases like him. We stand in solidarity with him and the hundreds of LGBT immigrants in detention centers.”