Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, honored for his work covering the deadly Virginia Tech shootings, shocked the nation when he revealed he had been living in the U.S. illegally for more than half his life.
Born in the Philippines but raised in the Bay Area - he is a graduate of Mountain View High School - Vargas has said he did not realize his immigation status until he was a teen.
In interviews, he has said that he hid his illegal status for more than 15 years, and finally decided to "come out" to the rest of the country when the DREAM Act was being fought for in Congress. As he watched other illegal immigrants around him fight for their rights in support of the bill, which helps illegal students on the path the citizenship, Vargas said he felt it was time for him to come clean about his own status.
A personal essay Vargas wrote and published in the New York Times went viral after his announcement, and he told Time Magazine that he received more than 2,000 e-mails, Facebook messages and letters after it was published, from others wishing to "come out" as he had, and commending him for his bravery.
Soon, Vargas will be bringing his story to Redwood City's own Sequoia High School.
Vargas will be speaking about his journey, his struggles, and the nonprofit organization Define American that he helped found.
"A Conversation with Jose Antonio Vargas" will take place in the school's Carrington Hall on Sunday, April 7 at 3:30 p.m. at Sequoia, located at 1201 Brewster Ave.
Tickets for the talk are now available. They cost $25 for adults in advance or $30 at the door. Students with school ID are welcome for $5.
Tickets are available for purchase online here.
What do you think of Vargas' work, and his journey as an undocumented immigrant fighting for rights and reform? Tell us in the comments below.
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