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Vargas doesn't qualify for Obama's deportation freeze

If he were just one year younger, Mountain View High School grad and immigration reform advocate Jose Antonio Vargas would have been relieved of deportation fears on Friday.

President Barack Obama announced that he would spare 800,000 to 1.4 million unauthorized immigrants from deportation and allow them to legally work in the U.S. Insisting it was not amnesty, he said his unilateral action would apply to those who were brought to U.S. before the age of 16. But you must not be a felon, must be enrolled in school or have a high school diploma and be 29 or younger to qualify. Vargas is 30.

Vargas reacted to the news by circulating a petition on change.org Friday thanking the president for the action and calling for more reforms.

"Starting today, DREAM-eligible youth will be able to officially come forward -- no longer risking deportation -- and apply to work, join the Army, or go to college," Vargas wrote in this petition. "They will be able to give back to the country they call home."

"While this solution isn't perfect (in fact, at 30, I don't qualify for relief myself), this is a tremendous victory that couldn't have happened without the passion and dedication of hundreds of thousands of people," Vargas wrote.

The petition had more than 1,000 signatures by the end of the day.

The president's announcement came shortly after Time magazine published its latest issue with Vargas pictured on the cover with a diverse group of young immigrants brought as children to the United States. Vargas wrote the cover story, which describes his experience over the last year and the little progress that's been made to reform the country's immigration policies.

"They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper," Obama said of those who qualified for relief. He added a comment that fits Vargas' experience, which is that many "often have no idea that they're undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver's license or a college scholarship."

Vargas revealed his personal story in a New York Times magazine article last year describing how he found out he was not here legally when he tried to get a drivers license at 16 and was told by a DMV employee that his green card was fake. Vargas said he had used fake documents to work at the nation's top newspapers.

Vargas, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, quit his job at the Washington Post last year to start the nonprofit Define American, which seeks to elevate the discussion about immigration in the U.S.

Obama has been criticized for deporting more immigrants than any other president in history, but the president insists that Congress must act to produce legislation reform. Immigrant rights advocates point to the freeze as proof that Obama can do much more than he has to provide relief for some 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.

Comments

Posted by Law Abiding Patriot, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 16, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Of course Obama favors illegal aliens, as he is an illegal alien himself,.

"But you must not be a felon", isn't crossing the border illegally still a felony? It sure is in Mexico!


Posted by yonatan, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 17, 2012 at 12:28 am

A) Please provide your evidence that The President of the United States is a "illegal alien"

B)Jose did not cross the border illegally
C) He is from the Philippines, so I am not sure where your comment about Mexico comes from.


Posted by Mr. DePortum, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 17, 2012 at 6:49 am

Follow the law, don't bend it to suit his needs. Needs a one way ticket back to his homeland.


Posted by Rey, a resident of Castro City
on Jun 17, 2012 at 7:29 am

Why is this a story? Go interview some people down along California Avenue if you want to find some one who this change in policy applies to. Either that or find an Asian or East Indian student now at a local university paying California resident tuition at worst, or on a free ride at best, who this policy might also apply.

As for Vargas, I'm sure he will keep expecting special treatment just because he feels he deserves it.


Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 17, 2012 at 10:08 am

How about an amnesty for nonviolent drug offenders first?


Posted by Unamas, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm

yonatan,

Jose crossed the border illegally. As he wrote in "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant" published in NY Times

"Lolo scraped together enough money — I eventually learned it was $4,500, a huge sum for him — to pay him to smuggle me here under a fake name and fake passport."

He also had a fake green card, a fake passport, a driver's license.


Posted by Mcbutters, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Mcbutters is a registered user.

No one should get special treatment for being here illegally.
They need to go through due process, just like every other immigrant who has done the right thing.
Deport them and have them go through the proper protocol to be a US citizen or obtain a visa.


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