Jose Antonio Vargas (born February 3, 1981) is a journalist, filmmaker, and immigration rights activist. Born in the Philippines and raised in the United States from the age of twelve, he was part of The Washington Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2008 for coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting online and in print. Vargas has also worked for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Daily News, and The Huffington Post. He wrote, produced, and directed the autobiographical 2013 film, Documented, which CNN Films broadcast in June 2014.
In a June 2011 essay in The New York Times Magazine, Vargas revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant in an effort to promote dialogue about the immigration system in the U.S. and to advocate for the DREAM Act, which would provide children in similar circumstances with a path to citizenship. A year later, a day after the publication of his Time cover story about his continued uncertainty regarding his immigration status, the Obama administration announced it was halting the deportation of undocumented immigrants age 30 and under, who would be eligible for the DREAM Act. Vargas, who had just turned 31, did not qualify.
Vargas is the founder of Define American, a nonprofit organization intended to open up dialogue about the criteria people use to determine who is an American. He has said: "I am an American. I just don't have the right papers."
In September 2018 his memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, was published by Dey Street.
Jose Antonio Vargas
Vargas at the 2018 Texas Book Festival
|Born||February 3, 1981|
|Alma mater||San Francisco State University (BA)|
|Occupation||Journalist, filmmaker, activist|
The Sidney Award
Freedom to Write award
Vargas was born in Antipolo in the Philippines. In 1993, when Vargas was twelve, his mother sent him to live with his grandparents in the U.S. without obtaining authorization for him to stay in the country permanently; his grandparents were naturalized U.S. citizens. In Mountain View, California, he attended Crittenden Middle School and Mountain View High School. He did not learn of his immigration status until 1997 when, at age 16, he attempted to obtain a California driver's license with identity documents provided by his family that he then discovered were fraudulent. He kept his immigration status secret, pursuing his education and fitting in as an American with the help of friends and teachers. He used a Filipino passport and false documents that included a green card and a driver's license to help him avoid deportation.
His high school English teacher introduced him to journalism, and in 1998 he began an internship at the Mountain View Voice, a local newspaper. He later became a copy boy for the San Francisco Chronicle. Unable to apply for traditional financial aid due to his status, with the help of his high school principal and school superintendent, Vargas secured a private scholarship to attend San Francisco State University, where he earned a degree in political science and Black Studies. In the summers during college he interned for the Philadelphia Daily News and The Washington Post.
Vargas came out as gay during his senior year of high school in 1999, a decision he later described as "less daunting than coming out about my legal status". He spoke out against the Defense of Marriage Act, calling it an immigration issue that disadvantages people similar to him from "marry[ing] my way into citizenship like straight people can".
In 2004, immediately after graduation from San Francisco State, he was hired by the Style section of The Washington Post to cover the video game boom. He became known for his anecdotal coverage of the HIV epidemic in Washington. His coverage was adapted into a 2010 documentary entitled, The Other City. In 2007, he was part of the Washington Post team covering the shootings at Virginia Tech, whose work earned a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting.
When Vargas made a pitch for an assignment as a politics reporter for the Post, he told his editor, "You need someone to cover the presidential campaign who has a Facebook account and who looks at YouTube every day." Vargas went on to cover the 2008 presidential campaign, including a front-page article in 2007 about Wikipedia's impact on the 2008 election.
He also wrote an online column entitled "The Clickocracy" on the Post's website.
In "Students Make Connections at a Time of Total Disconnect" on April 17, 2007, Vargas reported on the role of technology in student experiences during the Virginia Tech shootings. He described graduate student Jamal Albarghouti running toward the gunshots when he heard them, taking out his cell phone to take a shaky, one-minute video that later was aired on CNN.com. "This is what this YouTube-Facebook-instant messaging generation does," Vargas wrote. "Witness. Record. Share." The article also discussed the role of Facebook, which students used to keep in touch during the event. Albarghouti returned to his apartment to find 279 new Facebook messages, Vargas recounted, and another student, Trey Perkins, faced a similar inundation.
Vargas contributed to the article "'Pop, Pop, Pop': Students Down, Doors Barred, Leaps to Safety," which was published on April 17, 2007. Through interviews with eyewitnesses, the story recounted the events of the Virginia Tech shootings. He also contributed to the article "That Was the Desk I Chose to Die Under," which ran in The Washington Post on April 19, 2007. Vargas gained an interview with an eyewitness to the shootings by approaching him through Facebook, he explained to GMA News. "I got him on the phone, we talked for about 25 minutes, and he was the only eyewitness we had on the story, so it was a critical part of it," Vargas explained.
In July 2009, Vargas left the Post to join The Huffington Post, part of an exodus of young talent from the paper. Arianna Huffington introduced herself to Vargas at a Washington Press Club Foundation dinner after overhearing someone mistake him for a busboy.
Vargas joined Huffington Post as technology and innovations editor, where he then created a "Technology as Anthropology" blog and launched the Technology vertical in September 2009 and the College vertical in February 2010.
Vargas's articles on the AIDS epidemic in Washington, D.C., inspired a feature-length documentary, The Other City, which he co-produced and wrote. Directed by Susan Koch and co-produced by Sheila Johnson, the documentary premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival and aired on Showtime.
In February 2015, Vargas launched a venture called #EmergingUS that will use video and commentary to explore race and the "evolving American identity."
In 2015, Vargas received the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice for his ground-breaking contributions in overturning wrongful convictions.
In 2018, the Mountain View Whisman school district voted to name a new elementary school after Vargas. 
In 2011, Vargas wrote an essay for The New York Times Sunday Magazine in which he revealed that he is an undocumented immigrant. He detailed how he came to discover this as a teenager and kept it hidden for almost 15 years, during which time he worked, paid taxes, and worried that his status would be exposed. Vargas's essay received much media attention and was at the top of the Times "most-emailed" list the week it was published. He received the June 2011 Sidney Award for his essay, an award given by The Sidney Hillman Foundation to what they evaluate as the "outstanding piece of socially-conscious journalism" published each month.
Vargas founded Define American in 2011, a nonprofit project aimed at facilitating dialogue about immigration issues including the DREAM Act, which would provide undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship through education or service in the military. The organization also invites individuals to share their experiences via video. In 2012, through Define American, Vargas began to monitor the use of the term "illegal immigrant" in the media, hoping to influence news organizations to use the term "undocumented" instead, which Vargas argues is a less dehumanizing term. His targets included The New York Times and the Associated Press. In April 2013, the Associated Press announced that they would no longer use the term "illegal" to describe people and would abandon the term "illegal immigrant"; The New York Times said it also was reviewing its style guides regarding the term. Vargas welcomed the AP decision, saying that he hoped other news organizations would follow their example.
In 2012, Vargas worked with filmmaker Chris Weitz on a group of four short documentaries entitled Is this Alabama? about the effects of Alabama's immigration legislation. The documentary, which advocates the repeal of HB 56, is a collaborative effort on the part of Define American, America's Voice, and the Center for American Progress.
In June 2012, Vargas wrote a cover story for Time magazine about the uncertainty of his life "in limbo" during the year following his revelation that he was an undocumented immigrant. The day after the article appeared, President Obama announced that his administration would halt the deportation of undocumented immigrants age 30 and under, who would qualify for DREAM Act relief, and provide work permits for them, allowing them to remain in the U.S. legally; Vargas, at age 31, however, was not eligible for this program, but greeted it as a "victory for DREAMers".
In the years since revealing his status in 2011, Vargas has become the public face of undocumented immigrants. He presented emotional testimony at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in February 2013.
Vargas wrote, directed, and produced the autobiographical film, Documented: A film by an undocumented American, released in 2013 and presented by CNN Films in 2014. It portrays his life from the time he was sent from the Philippines to the United States as a child, his discovery of his immigration status at age 16, his college years, his career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and his decision for public revelation of his status as undocumented. The film chronicles his rise as an outspoken advocate for the undocumented, while portraying the personal pain his circumstances have caused him and his family, especially the separation from his mother whom he has not seen in more than 20 years. The film was funded by a former Facebook president, Sean Parker, who also was its executive producer.
Vargas has worked closely with the tech advocacy group, FWD.us, in their efforts to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. He referred to the growing collaboration between Silicon Valley leaders and immigrant activists as a "marriage of unlikely allies" that bodes well for the passage of reform. Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who generally maintains a low public profile, spoke before the screening of Documented to introduce Vargas and to lobby House members to keep up reform momentum. Zuckerberg recounted his experience tutoring undocumented students as his inspiration for starting FWD.us.
In November 2013, Vargas served on the panel of judges for the DREAMer Hackathon hosted by FWD.us at LinkedIn headquarters. He was joined by Zuckerberg, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and FWD.us President Joe Green. The 24-hour hackathon brought together undocumented immigrants and Silicon Valley tech veterans to create immigration reform advocacy projects. The panel selected Push4Reform, a web application developed by a team of DREAMers to connect supporters to Congress, as the winning advocacy tool.
On July 15, 2014, Vargas was arrested by immigration authorities while trying to leave the border town of McAllen, Texas. Vargas was there for a vigil organized by United We Dream, outside a shelter for recently released Central American migrants. He had a camera crew from Define American with him to interview and film undocumented immigrant minor children from Central America. Vargas later wrote that he did not realize until he was there, that he would have to cross through a U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoint in order to leave the Rio Grande Valley. He went through airport security with his Philippine passport and a pocket-size copy of the United States Constitution. Initially, he was cleared by the Transportation Security Administration, but a border agent took his passport, reviewed his documents, asked him some questions, placed him in handcuffs, and escorted him to the McAllen Border Patrol station for further questioning. He was released later that day. A statement followed that the release was because he had no history of criminal activity.
In June 2018, Vargas received criticism for circulating an image of a little boy crying behind a fence on Twitter, using the caption "This is what happens when a government believes people are 'illegal.' Kids in cages." It garnered more than 35,000 likes and 24,000 retweets. It was later discovered that the image was sourced from a private Facebook account and was taken out of context, as the photo was actually from a staged protest against US President Trump's immigration policy in Dallas, Texas, on June 10, 2018. Vargas received many calls to remove the photo from Twitter, including from actor Misha Collins who said Vargas was guilty of "the same misinformation as Trump and you are giving fodder to the other side." Vargas, however, stood by his original tweets, saying "Read what I wrote. All I said [about] the photo was this is what happens when a gov't considers people 'illegal.'"
The 10th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, also billed as Cinemalaya X was held from August 1–10 of 2014 in Metro Manila, Philippines. The achievements of Cinemalaya over the past ten years are summed up in the festival's theme: A Decade of Connecting Dimensions. The theme highlights Cinemalaya as a flourishing network of individuals, groups and institutions with a common goal of developing and promoting Filipino independent filmmaking.The achievements of Cinemalaya over the past ten years are summed up in the Festival's theme: A Decade of Connecting Dimensions. The theme highlights Cinemalaya as a flourishing network of individuals, groups and institutions with a common goal of developing and promoting Filipino independent filmmaking. Special events and new Festival features will add to the excitement of Cinemalaya X. These include the launching of the Cinemalaya X book, announcement of the Cinemalaya Logo Contest winner, the introduction of the Cinemalaya Achievement Award, special exhibitions that will document the story of Cinemalaya's first decade, a Cinemalaya X Retrospective. The Cinemalaya X book is a commemorative publication chronicling the history of Cinemalaya and its contributions to Philippine cinema. The book will be launched on August 3, 2014 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.The book, Cinemalaya Foundation president Nestor O. Jardin said, is a tribute to the Filipino indie filmmaker. “The success of Cinemalaya is undoubtedly due to the 164 filmmakers who for the past ten editions of the competition and festival produced quality films that have broken the boundaries of filmmaking in the country.
The festival was opened by Jose Antonio Vargas' Documented, a documentary film that chronicles his life living in America and his struggles as an undocumented immigrant. While the closing film was A Thief, a Kid and a Killer, a crime-drama film directed by American director Nathan Adolfson, starring Epi Quizon and Felix Roco.At the awards ceremony held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo on August 10; Francis Xavier Pasion’s Bwaya, won Best Film as well as three other awards in the New Breed category while Jose Altarejos’ Kasal was named Best Film in the Directors Showcase category, with Nora Aunor winning the Best Actress plum, also in the Directors Showcase category, of the 10th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition.Alida Garcia
Alida Garcia is an American social activist whose major work is centered on immigration issues. She was arrested during her first quarter of college, after a protest against janitor related layoffs at the Stanford Hospital.Angry Asian Man
Angry Asian Man is an Internet blog founded in 2001 by Phil Yu. The blog focuses on Asian American news, media, and politics. The Washington Post calls Angry Asian Man "a daily must-read for the media-savvy, socially conscious, pop-cultured Asian American." An accompanying podcast, entitled Sound and Fury: The Angry Asian Podcast, was launched in May 2012 and features interviews with Asian Americans.AsianAve
AsianAve or Asian Avenue is a social networking website targeted to the Asian American community.CNN Films
CNN Films is a motion picture division of CNN, originally launched in 2012. Its first film Girl Rising premiered in spring 2013 in the United States.Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies
CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies (formerly known as Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies or CLAGS) was founded in 1991 by professor Martin Duberman as the first university-based research center in the United States dedicated to the study of historical, cultural, and political issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and communities. Housed at the Graduate Center, CUNY, CLAGS sponsors public programs and conferences, offers fellowships to individual scholars, and functions as a conduit of information. It also serves as a national center for the promotion of scholarship that fosters social change.The center is located at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, in New York City. Past executive directors include Martin Duberman, Alissa Solomon, Jill Dolan, Paisley Currah, Sarah Chinn, James Wilson, and Kevin Nadal. Nadal was the first person of color to hold the Executive Director role. The current Executive Director is Justin Brown.
CLAGS also provides scholarships and fellowships to members of the LGBTQ community. Some awards include the Robert Giard fellowship for visual arts (photography and videography), the Sylvia Rivera award for best paper in Transgender Studies, the Kessler Award for lifetime contributions to LGBTQ Studies, and the José Esteban Muñoz Award for activism.In 2016, the center commemorated its 25th anniversary with a conference that reunited its Founders and past executive directors, as well as a celebration at New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.Copy boy
A copy boy is a typically young and junior worker on a newspaper. The job involves taking typed stories from one section of a newspaper to another. According to Bruce Guthrie, the former editor-in-chief of the Herald Sun who began work there as a copy boy in 1972:
Reporters typed their stories on slips of butcher's paper...then a copy boy ran the story into the neighbouring subs' [sub-editor's] room, hence the cry of 'copy'. Each slip of the story had about six carbon copies...stapled together and it was the job of the copy boy - or girl - to separate the original and run it to the subs, and then separate the carbons for distribution.
With the advent of new publishing and printing technology the position is now almost extinct, but in the first two decades after World War II, most editors of medium and large newspapers in the US still considered their copy boys indispensable to "getting the paper out." The position was also considered to be an important entry point for aspiring journalists, many of whom got their start as copy boys.Greater Talent Network
Greater Talent Network (also known as GTN) is an American speakers bureau based in New York and owned by United Talent Agency. GTN is known for its roster of prominent clients, including authors Michael Lewis, P.J. O'Rourke and Jeffrey Toobin; actors Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo and Danny Glover; musicians Paula Abdul and Harry Belafonte; Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell and Kevin Lacz; athletes Alex Rodriguez and Apolo Ohno; sports executives Billy Beane and Bob Myers; national security experts Raymond Kelly, Richard Clarke, and General Wesley Clark; finance/technology disruptor Dan Schulman, and Daniele Weisberg and Carly Zakin, founders of theSkimm.Javier Loya
Javier Loya (born January 24, 1986 in Phoenix, Arizona) is a Mexican American boxer in the Light Welterweight division.José Vargas
José Vargas may refer to:
José Vargas (basketball) (born 1963), Dominican basketball player
Jose "Joe" Vargas, American YouTuber also known as "Angry Joe"
Jose Antonio Vargas (born 1981), journalist, filmmaker and immigration rights activist
José Augusto Vargas, Peruvian politician
José Gregorio Vargas (born 1982), Venezuelan basketball player
José Lino Vargas (born 1930), Chilean politician
José María Vargas (1786–1854), President of Venezuela from 1835–1836List of After Words interviews first aired in 2018
After Words is an American television series on the C-SPAN2 network’s weekend programming schedule known as Book TV. The program is an hour-long talk show, each week featuring an interview with the author of a new non-fiction book. The program has no regular host. Instead, each author is paired with a guest host who is familiar with the author or the subject matter of their book.Mountain View–Whisman School District
Mountain View – Whisman School District serves Mountain View, California, USA at the elementary and middle school levels.Sabrina Schmidt Gordon
Sabrina Schmidt Gordon is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. She is known for producing and editing films on cultural and social issues.
She co-produced and edited DOCUMENTED, a documentary about Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist and immigration activist. DOCUMENTED was nominated for the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary. Her film BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, an episode of America ReFramed about poet and activist Sonia Sanchez, was nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary. Other notable filmography include Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, produced with Byron Hurt, and Quest, produced with , which was nominated for the 2018 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature.Gordon graduated from New York University and is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University.San Martín de Porres Parish (Aragua)
San Martín de Porres Parish is a Venezuelan administrative political division, located in Libertador Municipality, Aragua State, Venezuela and has an approximate population of 130,270 inhabitants. It covers almost 56% of the municipality.
The San Martín de Porres Parish limits to the north with the Santa Rita Parish, to the east with the Palo Negro parish, to the south with the Palo Negro Crossroads, and to the west with the Lake of Valencia.
The Parish includes: the old Palo Negro-Santa Rita Highway (Aragua), El Libertador Air Base, El Libertador Air Base Urbanization (BAEL), Los Aviadores Socialist City Urbanization, José Antonio Vargas Hospital (La Ovallera Social Security) and La Ovallera Urbanization.The Tragedy of Today's Gays
The Tragedy of Today's Gays is a 2005 book by gay activist Larry Kramer, in which the author prints a speech he delivered at New York City's Cooper Union Hall on November 21, 2004. In the speech, Kramer urges gay men and lesbians to take action, unite as a community, and embrace safer lifestyles. The speech led to a protest, two days later, against American General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had previously called homosexuality "immoral."The speech is preceded by a foreword by Naomi Wolf.Vargas (surname)
Vargas is a Spanish and Portuguese surname.Vargas Vidot
José Antonio "Chaco" Vargas Vidot (born May 22, 1954), better known simply by his two last names Vargas Vidot, is a Puerto Rican doctor of medicine, philanthropist, and politician focused on drug rehabilitation. His community service is channeled throughout his organization, Iniciativa Comunitaria (Community Initiative) which provides free health care to drug addicts in Puerto Rico. In 2016, Vargas Vidot became the first independent candidate elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico.White People (film)
White People is a 2015 American documentary film directed, produced and starring Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas, and explores white privilege in the United States. The cast includes Dakota Wright, Lucas Nydam, Samantha Slavinsky, Katy, and John Chimento. The film debuted on MTV.Hua Hsu, reviewing the film for The New Yorker, characterizes the film as a series of "teachable moments". During one moment of the film, Vargas interviews a white community college student, Katy, who attributes her inability to land a college scholarship to reverse racism against white people, before Vargas points out that white students are "40 percent more likely to receive merit-based funding". Characterizing the film's "conversations at the dinner table and in school cafeterias" as "conversations that look more like interventions", Hsu's review is critical of the film itself, noting that, "all of its epiphanies feel safe and stage-managed, largely because each of the set pieces is presented as a problem to be solved."Yosimar Reyes
Yosimar Reyes (born September 22, 1988) is a queer undocumented immigrant, poet and activist. He was born in Guerrero, Mexico and raised in East San Jose, California. Reyes has been described as "a voice that shines light on the issues affecting queer immigrants in the U.S. and throughout the world."Reyes uses spoken word poetry to empower queer and working class people, as well as immigrants, to tell their stories. He has been a guest speaker at numerous universities, community organizations, and cultural institutions across the United States including Stanford University, UCLA, Princeton University, Northeastern Illinois University, the San Francisco Public Library, the Park Avenue Armory, and the Aspen Institute.From 2016 to 2018, Reyes serves as Arts Fellow at Define American, a media and culture organization founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas which "uses the power of stories to [...] shift the conversation around immigrants, identity and citizenship in a changing America." He moved on from the position in early September 2018. He also previously served as Public Programs Coordinator at La Galería de la Raza in San Francisco.