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US: Jose Antonio Vargas, an out gay undocumented activist, has been released by Border Patrol

Katie Dupere July 16, 2014

Jose Antonio Vargas, a noted LGBT rights and undocumented rights activist, was released late Tuesday after being held by Texas Border Patrol.

Vargas was detained for several hours in McAllen, Texas after attempting to board a plane to Los Angeles with his Philippine passport and pocketbook US Constitution as his only documents for security.

Vargas was released with a notice to appear before an immigration judge.

In a statement posted on Define American, Vargas said: “As an unaccompanied child migrant myself, I came to McAllen, Texas, to shed a light on children who parts of America and many in the news media are actively turning their backs on. But what I saw was the generosity of the American people, documented and undocumented, in the Rio Grande Valley.

“I’ve been released by Border Patrol. I want to thank everyone who stands by me and the undocumented immigrants of south Texas and across the country. Our daily lives are filled with fear in simple acts such as getting on an airplane to go home to our family.

“With Congress failing to act on immigration reform, and President Obama weighing his options on executive action, the critical question remains: how do we define American?”

On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement calling for the release of Vargas, saying immigrant enforcement agencies are “failing to use their discretion and detaining long-time immigrants who do not pose a threat to our security.” 

More: activist, Americas, detained, jose antonio vargas, Texas, Texas Border Patrol, undocumented, US

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