Jose Antonio Vargas: “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant”


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a freelance journalist and blogger. He considers Bob Dylan and Walter Sobchak to be the two great Jewish thinkers of our time; he thinks Kafka was half-right when he said there was hope, "but not for us"; and he can be reached through the twitter via @eliasisquith or via email. The opinions he expresses on the blog and throughout the interwebs are exclusively his own.

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Scott says:

    So what are we supposed to take from this piece? That some illegals are success stories? So what, some poor Americans transform their lives as well. Many illegals don’t and they come here and turn to crime just like some poor Americans. I’m sure the bleeding heart authors want us to assume that if we just opened our borders and showered these folks with love that all their stories would turn out as well. Yea, maybe in their fantasy land.Report

    • Avatar trizzlor says:

      For once I agree. I’m sure there’s many tragic stories of good people forced to steal so that their family can get by, and some of then surely go on to do great things. But that doesn’t mean we need to scrap all of our laws regarding theft.

      There is an interesting specific question of what to do with people who get brought over here illegally and grow up “American” with no ties elsewhere. I don’t think it’s just to deport them for the illegal activities of their parents, but blanket amnesty would create an incentive for similar behavior.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Should corporations that hire illegal immigrants be fined?

    Or just evil corporations that hire them?

    I’m just kidding. Open the borders! We need more people! People are a positive good!Report

    • Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

      Should these immigrants be granted access to all federal and state social services upon entering the country, or should there be a delay in their eligibility?Report

  3. Avatar Will says:

    So, I’ve got some mild restrictionist sympathies. But reading the reactions to this piece on some conservative sites makes me want to throw open the borders.Report

  4. Avatar CL says:

    Where I live (AZ), this story is all too familiar. It is the story of so many high school and college students and young adults. Finally it is in the national spotlight for others to see and most react with fear, anger and disgust. So often each of these individuals did not decide themselves to make the journey, their family did and they live with the consequences. It is a sick, broken system. That is for sure.Report

  5. Avatar brenda Lopez says:

    A lot of you are just fooling yourselfs, don’t you realize that America is no longer the land of plenty. It is so because we have forgotten where we came from that we are going down. This land was created by immigrants and illegals to start with, this land belonged to somebody else and it was taken by force. This land was created by illegal immigrants looking for a better life and under the eyes of God and we have forgotten that as well. What’s happening to us also happened to Rome once a long time ago, all empires get to mighty for their own good and eventually crumble. Now it’s the time of the Chinese again, before they fall again and somebody else rises. But it’s not too late for us, we have an advantage and that is that we believe in the God of the Bible, the God that created us equal. We are “one nation under God”, that is what made us mighty and nothing else.Report

  6. Avatar James K says:

    My uncle worked undocumented in the US for the best part of 20 years. He has a green card now, but it took him marrying a citizen to manage it (he didn’t marry to get the papers, he genuinely fell in love and tried to get a green card through his own merits, but he couldn’t do it, not even with training as a teacher, so he stopped putting off the wedding).

    The US and New Zealand have something in common – we’re both New World countries. The old ways of blood and soil were never our ways, we were formed from the lost and dispossessed – you only risked a long journey to a new world if the old one held nothing for you. We took those no one else wanted, and we thrived. We forged our respective cultures from the scraps of other nations and we are stronger for it. Immigration is the life blood, choking it off as thoroughly as you currently are invites stagnation.Report

  7. Whether or not we should have open borders is a red herring. This debate is far more complicated — and the alternatives to our current policy far more numerous — than such a conversation would imply. This article in fact can just be referenced in terms of informing our opinions on the DREAM Act and whether or not it’s a wise policy move. Besides hysterical and non-empirical cries of cultural decline and widespread societal disarray, it doesn’t seem to me that opponents of DREAM have a realistic and decent alternative response as to what is to be done for people like Vargas.Report

    • Avatar Sam MacDonald says:

      “realistic” and “decent” seem like pretty high rhetorical hurdles to clear. I am sure they can just as easily tar anything you say as indecent to X, find a individual X whose story makes their case in a compelling way, and call you indecent.Report

    • Avatar Scott says:


      So opposition to rewarding illegal aliens with the Dream Act isn’t a “realistic and decent alternative response?” We don’t reward other law breakers so why reward illegals?Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        The issue is that “illegal alien” implies a voluntary choice to circumvent immigration laws, whereas the entire basis of the DREAM Act is that the people in question didn’t make a voluntary choice. The fetus did not vote on whether to board the boat.Report

        • Avatar Scott says:


          I disagree. The term illegal alien doesn’t imply any intent or choice, it is merely discriptive. Intent is not part of the crime anyway and is not relevant.Report

  8. Avatar Yostin Colindres says:

    I understood that what Jose Vargas did is not the best thing, but something you have to do things in life that you don’t want to do it. By the way I just want people to understand that here in the United States there is people that deserve an opportunity!! DREAMERS! of the Dream Act deserve this opportunity! I am one of them! I am a dreamer!Report