Undocumented immigrant booted from Romney event

By David Edwards
Friday, December 9, 2011 15:01 EDT
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Undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas at Romney event (Yfrog/streitfeldcnn)
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A former Washington Post reporter, who says he’s also an undocumented immigrant, was kicked out of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s town hall event in Iowa Friday.

Jose Antonio Vargas showed up at the Romney town hall in Cedar Rapids holding a sign that read, “I am an American w/o papers.”

“I [was] just kicked out of a Mitt Romney rally here in Cedar Rapids, escorted out by an Iowa cop,” Vargas later tweeted. “I could not ask a question.”

“I was not causing a ruckus. I was merely trying to ask a question, which is what a journalist does,” he added.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter made headlines earlier this year when he revealed that he had been in the country illegally for nearly 20 years.

“On the surface, I’ve created a good life. I’ve lived the American dream,” Vargas wrote in a 4,300-word article published by The New York Times. “But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality.”

“I’m done running. I’m exhausted. I don’t want that life anymore,” he explained.

While Vargas didn’t get to speak at the event, a Romney supporter did ask if the candidate had a plan that could help undocumented immigrants “rather than just rounding everybody up” and deporting them.

“For those that have come here illegally, they might have a transition time to allow them to set they affairs in order, and then go back home and get in line with everybody else,” Romney replied. “They start in the back of the line, not at the front of the line.”

“We’re not going to go across the country and round people up. It’s just too big of a task. There are what? Eleven, 12, 15 million — who knows the total number? But what we are going to do is that we are going to give people a chance to transition to be able to go home to get in line and then, ultimately if they would like to, to have a green card to come into this country legally.”

Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Dec. 9, 2011.


Photo: Yfrog/streitfeldcnn

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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