Immigration activist José Antonio Vargas was released by the U.S. Border Patrol in Texas on Tuesday after his detention sparked an outcry online and among fellow immigration activists, the former journalist said.
Vargas, an award-winning former reporter for The Washington Post and other news organizations, made news when he revealed that he was an undocumented immigrant from the Philippines. Carrying only his Philippine passport for identification, he was stopped by agents who stand alongside Transportation Safety Agents at the McAllen, Texas, airport as he was trying to board a plane back to Los Angeles, where his documentary "Undocumented" was to be screened. In a statement, U.S. Customs & Border Protection said Vargas was detained "after he stated that he was in the country illegally" and that he was released on his own recognizance.
"I've been released by Border Patrol," Vargas said late Tuesday afternoon. "As an unaccompanied child migrant myself, I came to McAllen, Texas, to shed a light on children who parts of America and many in the news media are actively turning their backs on. But what I saw was the generosity of the American people, documented and undocumented, in the Rio Grande Valley."