Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas on Thursday said the immigration system was fundamentally broken.
“Ordinary Americans have such a profound misunderstanding of what this issue is and who we exactly are,” he told CBS News.
The Filipino writer — who has has worked for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post — revealed in 2011 that he was an undocumented immigrant. Vargas has lived in the United States for nearly 20 years.
“There isn’t a process,” he explained. “People don’t know that. I remember being in Iowa in Cedar Rapids and Mitt Romney telling the audience people like me should get in the back of the line. Where is the line? If they can tell us where it is, if it’s in Times Square somewhere, I’ll go there right now. There is no line, there is no process.”
Vargas said that he had called the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but the agency had no records of him and refused to deal with his case.
Watch video, courtesy of CBS News, below:
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"So those threats beginning about two years ago, increases in white nationalist activity. Have you ever heard of these kinds of increases in hate and potential hate crimes being tied to a president of the United States?" Reid asked.
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"You know, when you get more power, your words carry more weight. When you get into this undercurrent of the Nazis and the white nationalists and the klansmen, they feed off of this. They feed off of public figures -- on the regular media, in the government, congressmen, senators, the president -- saying the things they always say," he explained. "It bolsters them. It gives them strength and power."