Monday, December 22, 2014

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The Call Blog: Noted Activist and Undocumented Immigrant Detained Amid Border Crisis

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The U.S. our great-grandparents knew is not the U.S. of today. If those same immigrants, escaping famine, persecution and poverty, showed up today the way they showed up at Ellis Island to be legally processed, they would be sent away. It can take years to obtain a visa, if you can even get a visa that is. The immigration system is broken and we need to stop the bleeding and fix it. The problem is literally at our doorstep.

Border patrol agents today detained and released undocumented immigrant and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. Vargas, who has been living and working in the country without legal documentation since he was 12, was handcuffed while trying to pass through security at McAllen airport in South Texas.

Vargas was in McAllen for several days as part of a vigil drawing attention to the plight of thousands of unaccompanied children coming into the country illegally. Because of McAllen’s proximity to the border, all airports and roadways in this region have Border Patrol checkpoints, even for domestic travel. According to reports, Vargas said he was unaware of that when he accepted the invitation for the vigil. Mayor de Blasio today denounced the detainment, and in a statement said it “shows how our immigrant enforcement agencies are failing to use their discretion and detaining long-time immigrants who do not pose a threat to our security.” What do you say?

What’s your reaction to the detainment and subsequent release of this noted immigration activist? Do you think border patrol agents and agencies should use discretion in who they detain? Are you surprised traveling domestically in a border City requires documentation? What do you think should be done about the immigration crisis happening right now at the border?

Reply with your thoughts using the link above.

Usa, as Brazil are both countries built by immigrants. I'm visiting nyc and I love to see all the diversity here however immigration has to be BY THE LAW. I'm a med student and want to come here for my residency and I'm walking through the front door.


I'm sorry, but almost every one of the calls that Rochelle took tonight disgusted me. This country was stolen by white immigrants in the first place okay, you are all just very lucky that these jobs aren't "being taken from you" by force. You're lucky that the immigrants now are nothing like the "founding fathers" because by our textbook definition, that would be considered genocide. You all need a very serious wake up call, because the people who are here legally are the ones who do real damage to our society. Do you forget that it's almost always male white middle citizens who are the ones who shoot up our schools? They're the most privileged in our society and THEY ARE THE THREAT. Sit down and think about that before you come at any of the courageous people who risk their lives just to get into a country that hates them because of the color of their skin. Even the people of color who are legally here make way less than the white man, Latina women make $0.58 to every white mans dollar. Now imagine how much less illegal immigrants make. Are they really stealing from us? Because I think you take enough out of their paychecks to pay for the "free" services they get.


I'm sorry for him, and am sympathetic to the cause for which he has stood up, but at the same time, I have to say -- speaking as someone who was living at risk from a lack of documentation (though not involving citizenship) for years, until 10 years ago -- it is his responsibility, at least to himself, to be aware of the things he can and can't do, and the places to which he can and cannot go.

Upper West Side

If they are here illegally
If we let them stay its a slap in the face to every person that came thru the right channels


Why was this Activist there to begin with? He should ask the person that gave him the invitation to this site. Someone had to organize this gathering. Was this an all expense trip for him. So now I guess we don't need any law enforcement at all since they are not permitted to do their jobs without hearing some flack every time they attempt to do their jobs. Maybe there are other problems at these checkpoints, airports , etc. and he or anyone for that matter might be causing interference. Now this mayor did away with stop and frisk in New York and now all of his cronies seem to think that whatever man made laws they make and expect us American citizens to abide by are starting to carry their man made rules to borders and venues of other states.
We have enough problems here in New York State and the five boroughs which are in shambles and we have many homeless along with others that live in the shelters that seem to be forgotten about.
If the jobs you people have are to much for all of you then give it up already because this is getting ridiculous.

Morris Park

Over all these years, why hasn't Vargus applied for citizenship? If he had, he wouldn't have been treated like a criminal today.

It looks like he wants all the benefits of being an American citizen, but doesn't want to pay for them.

Port Richmond

Illegal is illegal. Your social status dies not give you the right to break the law and neither does your ethnicity......

Park Hill

Mr. de Blasio should know that our enforcement agencies have jobs to do. They are not at the border to pick and choose who is are who is not a threat. If you are trying to enter the country illegally, you should be detained. Mr. de Blasio and others should stop gambling with the lives of the American citizens.

The activist knew that he was illegal. He was there without proper papers, he should have been detained. It's called the law. Allow the border patrol to do the jobs that they are paid to do.

Lock the border down, return them to their countries. This is the only way to stem the influx. America should look out for their own for once!!


As a legal immigrant who went through all the right channels, I have to admit that I do get irritated at people who sneak in, especially those who come in on tourist or student visas and then disappear. However, I also have to admit that I would never have walked through desert, sailed on a leaky boat or suffered any of the horrors that so many of these folks go through. What I left behind was not in any way even close to the horrors these people fled. I cannot judge or condemn those who risk so much and suffer so much to get to the USA and I wish them well.

East Village

The sense of entitlement amongst those that are here illegally is astonishing. If you are not here legally, you SHOULD be afraid of your government, you're not legal, your opinion is not relevant. Perhaps if they spent this much time trying to change their country as they do mine, they'd see progress. The answer for the children? Send them back. Now.

Kew Gardens

I didn't hear much on the detainment of Vargas .
But the thought that everyone should just be allowed to enter the united states and be granted citizenship is wrong.
All should go through the proper system of becoming citizens.

The problem in the south with the children coming should be stopped, we can't take all of the worlds citizens in areas with violence, unfortunately we as a country can't solve all the worlds problem's.
The United States should help the countries where these children are coming from as much as we can.

Staten Island

The man is obviously doing this for publicity and not worth discussing. The U.S. needs to tell Mexico to stop letting all these people walk up to our border. We don't even take care of our own citizens.

Forest Hills

For all those who believe that those who have snuck into this country are not criminals, THEY'RE WRONG!!! It's a crime to sneak in. Deport them, period!! Don't care that the children are unescorted minors, send them back, Antonio Vargas, deport him!! Enough is enough, it's time to get tough and enforce our laws and take back OUR COUNTRY!!


First off, I would like to say there is no such thing as my country for anyone who says it unless you are native american. This was there's and we took it from them and now we justify punishing poor people who would just like to live a safe and secure life! I still remember that poem by Emma Lazarus "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...", now its sorry i was here first. Such a sad tale I must say.....


Vargas is a Pulitzer Awardee just like Pres. Obama. USA should must grant him legal travel papers under the EB1 category under the field of journalism. Vargas obtained this award under awarded for USA!!! We granted other nationalities even without such honor. You gave papers to athletes who defected from their countries. He spearheaded the DACA approval that gave children who were brought here. HE IS Our THEORY HERO.

They're going to take your job. They're going to overcrowd your schools. They're going to destroy your community. The false fear factors go on and on. Let’s replace fear with reality. This is a country built on the dreams of immigrants, by immigrants, for immigrants. This used to be the home of the brave, the land of the free. It's become the refuge of the defeatist, the pessimist, the selfish.


Anyone who breaks country's laws should be indeed afraid of it's government. By allowing in undocumented immigrants and giving them same rights as lawful immigrants is mockery of all those who went through right channels. immigrants are welcome but we need law abiding citizens. There is no excuse for breaking country's laws. This activist should have been deported. Too bad our politicians are more concerned about being popular than doing the right thing for their country and taxpayers.

Forest Hills

I have very conflicted feelings about Mr. Vargas being detained. I hope this is not a payback from the government for his activism. By the same token, I hope it's not a publicity stunt on his part to attract further attention to the issue - that would be just extremely foolish on his part. I think that he should be treated as any other person in this situation, we should be equal under the law, however, he does have an advantage. Compared to other people in his situation, he seems to be able to afford legal help and I hope his lawyers will find a way to prevent his deportation and legalize him.

Brooklyn Heights

It seems Mr.Vargas was released due to his Pulitzer celebrity status. The current crisis of the increasing arrival of unaccompanied minors from Central America is a human tragedy. Apparently intentional and unintentional misinformation is fueling these young individuals to make the trip through Mexico with the false promise of legal papers in the USA. An aggressive educational and foreign relations campaign to help deter this influx coped with a refugee approach with perhaps relocation camps near the border could better address the legal future of these individuals rather than ferry them forced fully to unwilling states.

Washington Heights

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas shined a light on a system that does not work.
My dream is that every undocumented immigrant leave for a week and NYC would fall apart.
People who work hard and support our economy and do jobs most "Americans "would not do should not live in such fear.
It is almost impossible for anyone in central America to get a viso.


Enough is enough. Our schools are already over crowded, there are homeless folks all around how do you continue to allo what you call 'llegal"immirants a free pass. Send the minor children back to their country.

If a parent here let there minor child go unaccompanied traveling they would be calling ACS, Send the children that are illegal and adlts that are illegal back to their countries.

Charity begins at home and then spreads abroad. Tak care of home!!!

Even when it comes to higher education the financial assistance packages there are those who feel "illegal" immigrants should be entitled yet people that are legal are strugling because of all the changes that are continuouly being made for them to be aproved and even when they do receive assitance still have to come out of their pockets.

Political correct trying to please everyone and not standing for anything so afraid of offending that you do not stand on principals yet if you went to the countries that others come fro you would either go with what their system is or oh well you do not like it leave. They ill not be changing their way for you.

What is the most interesting of all is if the shoe was on the other foot those same countries would not be acceptable and would send you right back.

Illegal is illegal & enough is enough


It's time for the laws to change. We must un -complicate the laws and make it easier for people arrive here legally.

No person or group of people own any part of our world. I don't own this country anymore then my neighbor does. This planet has been explored since the beginning of time, and people have migrated all over. Americans leave America all the time to work and live in different cultures every day. People want to come and live in America and they have every right to.

Anyone that is afraid that people that are coming here are taking jobs from American, then they are just afraid.

Let them in, others let us in


When is the United States of America going to stop rewarding criminals who snuck in our country illegally, steal our jobs, rip off our system. put down our country and destroy everything in their path.
The majority of these illegal immigranst are very bad, crimnal type who who sell beer, alcohol, drugs, urinate, rape and assault women, are perverts who prey on children, who are pathological liars in every way, shape and form, steal, rob, kill, sell stolen items and want to do everything to destroy our country.
These moron liberals are only interested in letting these illegals in because they think the illegals are going to vote for them and donate monies to their campaighns.
These illegal immigranst don't have any rights in this country because they are not legal.
We give their countries tax payers dollars to take care of these lowlife and still they do everything in their powers to ruin our society.
Has anyone remembersed what happened on February 26, 1996 and September 11, 2001 with terrorists who were illegal immigranst?
September 11, 2001 is nothing compare to what is about to happen in the near future.
Other immigranst went through the system legally and had background checks and had jobs waiting for them, and file papers to gain entry, these people think everyone owe them a living.
we have people here who need help with getting jobs.
The United States of America can't be the savior of the world.
The Illegal Immigranst are getting everything that show be coming to Americans, such as food stamps, education,housing allowance,health care such as medicaid, and so on.
American people pay taxes for these services and never get them, but these lowlifes get everything and never contribute at all.

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