Exclusive: Jose Antonio Vargas, Journalist and ‘Undocumented Citizen,’ Lands Book Deal

Michael Schaub, Los Angeles Times, December 21, 2017

Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and activist who in 2011 revealed that he unknowingly entered the U.S. with false documents as a child, will publish his debut memoir with HarperCollins imprint Dey Street Books.

Vargas’ book will be titled “Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen.”

Vargas, a member of the team that earned a Pulitzer for reporting on the Virginia Tech shooting for the Washington Post in 2008, was born in the Philippines, where he lived until he was 12. In 1993, he moved to the United States to live with his American grandparents, initially unaware that he was living in the country illegally.

He disclosed his immigration status in 2011, writing in an essay for the New York Times Magazine, “I am still an undocumented immigrant. {snip}”

Vargas is the founder of Define American, a nonprofit immigration advocacy group that supported the so-called Dream Act, a bill that would grant permanent residency to some immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. The bill was first proposed in 2001, but has never become law.

{snip}

In 2014, Vargas was recognized with PEN Center USA’s Freedom to Write award

Vargas has directed two documentaries: “Documented,” about his own story as an undocumented immigrant, and “White People,” a 2015 film about the impact of white privilege.

“After finding out I didn’t have the right legal documents to be in this country, I’ve always wanted to write my way into America,” he said. {snip}

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