'Documented' comes to Bay Area | August 2, 2013 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - August 2, 2013

'Documented' comes to Bay Area

Zuckerberg to speak at screening of Jose Vargas' new documentary

by Daniel DeBolt

In what may be a "historic event" for immigration reform, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be speaking on Aug. 5 before the Bay Area screening of "Documented" — a film about Mountain View High School graduate, Pulitzer prize winner and former Voice intern Jose Antonio Vargas — and his struggle to exist as an undocumented immigrant.

Vargas left his mother as a child in the Philippines to live in the United States with his grandparents, where he found lifelong mentors among the staff at Mountain View High School, later becoming a Pulitzer-winning journalist at the Washington Post. The film records his emotional reunion with his mother over Skype, as Vargas could not risk traveling back to the Philippines. Without U.S. citizenship, he wouldn't be able to return home.

Two years ago Vargas revealed to the world his illegal citizenship status in a New York Times story about his life, which he says was more difficult than coming out as gay in high school. He has since been running the non-profit "Define American" which seeks to humanize and elevate the debate on immigration reform. His experience as a journalist has apparently come in handy.

"I profiled Mark (Zuckerberg) around this time three summers ago for the New Yorker," Vargas said. "If I were to tell you three summers later he'd be giving remarks (on this film), I'd tell you you were nuts."

On Aug. 5 the film is playing at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the second showing of the film after it opened last month at the American Film Institute's documentary festival in Maryland.

The event is co-sponsored by Zuckerberg's immigration reform advocacy group, FWD.us, which has been criticized for advocating for the narrow interests of Silicon Valley tech companies. But Vargas says the event aspires to transcend such divisions.

"We agree the immigration system is broken and we agree its going to take all of us to fix it," Vargas said. "This is a film screening, this is a cultural thing. This is way bigger than the political corners than we seem to find ourselves in."

To that end, Vargas has invited over 20 laborers from the Day Worker Center of Mountain View, as well as numerous DREAMers — youth who were brought here as children who still lack citizenship, like Vargas himself.

"I would like it to be a defining moment in history," said Day Worker Center board member Laura Casas of the event. "That's my wish and maybe it won't be and that moment will come in the future — it has to. The population in America is changing so rapidly in this country — we've got to face the future. It is not going to be with animosity and deportation and and splitting up families."

Email Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


2017 guide to summer camps

Looking for something for the kids to do this summer, learn something new and have fun? The 2017 Summer Camp Guide features local camps for all ages and interests.

Find Camps Here