Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Taubman Center

Jose Antonio Vargas: Undocumented Immigrant and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist

Monday, October 15, 2012

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Metcalf 101, Friedman Auditorium

John Hazen White, Sr., Lecture

This Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant boldly revealed his unauthorized status in recent articles he wrote for the New York Times Magazine and Time magazine. Vargas, who will deliver this year's John Hazen White Sr. Lecture, will share how he’s fighting for immigration reform now after spending fifteen years concealing his undocumented status.

Vargas came out as an undocumented immigrant in 2011 in his groundbreaking essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” for the New York Times Magazine. In his essay, he recounted how he lived in constant fear of discovery and deportation and why he decided to come clean. “I’m done running. I’m exhausted. I don’t want that life anymore,” he wrote. His declaration stunned media and political circles and attracted worldwide coverage.

June 25, 2012 issue of TimeJune 25, 2012 issue of TimeVargas, 31, was born in the Philippines and has lived in the U.S. since he was 12. He discovered that his green card was fake at the age of 16 when he applied for a learner’s permit to drive. Vargas spent the next fifteen years concealing his true identity even as he earned a college degree and became a highly successful journalist.

In June 2012, he wrote a cover story on immigration for Time magazine. Currently Vargas runs Define American, a non-profit organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration.

Also sponsored by
Third World Center
Brown Immigrant Rights Coalition
Asian American Heritage Series
Latino Heritage Series
Black Heritage Series
Multiracial Heritage Series