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Jose Antonio Vargas, undocumented immigrant, to talk diversity and immigration

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, immigration rights activist and self-declared undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 13, 2013, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on comprehensive immigration reform.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist was on campus Feb. 29 to share his perspective on diversity.

Jose Antonio Vargas was invited to TCU by the university’s diversity committee at the request of the strategic communication and journalism departments.

“Vargas represents quite a few different areas of diversity that TCU students, faculty, and staff members can share in,” said Wendy Macias, a strategic communication associate professor.

In 2011, Vargas revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant. He was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States at the age of 12.

A poster for Vargas’ visit says “on the surface, I’ve created a good life. I’ve lived the American dream. But, I am still an undocumented immigrant.”

Through his foundation, Define American, he advocates for the DREAM Act, which would grant U.S. citizenship to children in similar situations to his.

“Vargas has been successful in journalism, filmmaking and human rights activism,” Macias said. “All are areas that reflect areas of study for many students in Bob Schieffer College of Communication.”

Communication is about communicating with all different types of people, Macias said.

“The more friction, the more we learn, the more we grow,” Macias said. “The purpose of having Vargas is in the effort of promoting diversity perspective at TCU.”

One year after he started advocating for the DREAM Act, the U.S administration announced the deportation of undocumented immigrants of 30 years old and younger. Vargas is also involved in immigrants’ rights activism.

Vargas spoke on Feb. 29 in Moudy North 141 at 5 p.m.

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