US: New York City Mayor calls for activist Jose Antonio Vargas to be released
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement Tuesday calling for the release of Jose Antonio Vargas, an out gay undocumented immigrant, by Texas Border Patrol.
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 earlier today.
de Blasio said in the statement: “I stand in solidarity with journalist and advocate Jose Antonio Vargas—an exemplary man whose tireless work has helped raise awareness around the lives of millions of undocumented immigrants living on American soil.
“Jose Antonio’s detainment today at a Texas airport, close to where he was working to document the plight of refugees, shows how our immigrant enforcement agencies are failing to use their discretion and detaining long-time immigrants who do not pose a threat to our security.
“Jose Antonio has spent most of his life in the United States, he was educated by American schools, went on to receive a Pulitzer Prize while working as a journalist at the Washington Post, and eventually disclosed his undocumented status to advocate for a much-needed debate around citizenship.
“He exemplifies what America is about. I call for his quick release and hope that he can stay in the country that has been his home and to which he has contributed so much.”
Last week, de Blasio signed into law a bill to create a municipal identification card for residents who face obstacles obtaining government-issued identification. This law aids both undocumented populations and transgender citizens who often face difficulties aquiring accurate identification.