Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas and the L.A. Times create a platform for immigration and identity

CNN | Los Angeles Times

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times announced a new partnership with journalist Jose Antonio Vargas in creating #EmergingUS. According to a press release, the multimedia platform will examine “the intersection of race, immigration, identity and the complexities of multiculturalism. #EmergingUS will aim to illuminate these issues and create a dialogue at a time when demographic shifts are transforming the face of America.”

Vargas, who is also an undocumented immigrant, revealed his status in an article in The New York Times Magazine in 2011. Last year, he created the film “Documented” about his own experiences in the U.S.. Vargas, who started Define American, was also detained last year in McAllen, Texas by U.S. border patrol agents. He was later released. Read more

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The Internet is totally cool with Jonah Lehrer’s book deal

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Jonah Lehrer gets a new book deal

    Penguin Random House will publish the disgraced writer's new book with Shlomo Benartzi, "The Digital Mind: How We Think and Behave Differently on Screens," in May. (AP) | It's interesting who gets another bite at the apple, isn't it, especially a day after Hanna Rosin's story about Stephen Glass' diminished life. | To wit, remember when the Knight Foundation paid Lehrer $20,000 to talk about his intellectual dishonesty? | "Fingers crossed that in this case, co-authorship really just means that Lehrer was a glorified line editor, or better yet, a publicity stunt to boost sales." (New York) | "Last we heard of ol' Jo, he had sold a book about the redemptive power of love to Simon & Schuster.

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Jose Antonio Vargas

Vargas released by Border Patrol

The U.S. Border Patrol has released the journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas, his group Define American says in a statement. He was detained while leaving McAllen, Texas. In the statement says he came to Texas “to shed a light on children who parts of America and many in the news media are actively turning their backs on. But what I saw was the generosity of the American people, documented and undocumented, in the Rio Grande Valley.” The statement continues:

I’ve been released by Border Patrol. I want to thank everyone who stands by me and the undocumented immigrants of south Texas and across the country. Our daily lives are filled with fear in simple acts such as getting on an airplane to go home to our family.

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Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas detained in Texas

Journalist and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas has been detained in McAllen, Texas, Lara Drasin with Define American told Poynter in an email. Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is an undocumented immigrant and the founder of Define American. (Update: Vargas was released Tuesday evening.)

“Mr. Vargas did not make it through security at the airport,” Define American’s campaign director Ryan Eller said in a statement that ran here. “Our understanding is that he is currently being questioned behind us at border patrol headquarters.”

In the statement, Eller said that Vargas came to Texas to humanize the stories of children and families fleeing the most dangerous regions of central America. “It became apparent during our time here in this border town that the founder of our organization, Jose Vargas, may not be able to leave McAllen.”

On Monday night, Eller said Vargas told him the following: “Our America is better than this, we’re more humane, more compassionate, and we are fighting for a better America, a country we love, but has yet to recognize us.”

Dan Kowalski, an immigration lawyer with the Fowler Law Firm in Austin, Texas, told Poynter in a phone interview that Vargas has a law firm or a lawyer on retention, though he’s not sure who. Read more

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Glen Taylor’s plans for Star Tribune, NPR’s new approach to diversity

mediawiremorning Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. AP hires robots: The news co-op will use automation technology from Automated Insights to produce more than 4,000 earnings-reports stories (it now produces about 300). No job cuts: “If anything, we are doubling down on the journalism we will do around earnings reports and business coverage,” AP’s Lou Ferrara says. (Poynter) || Related: “Can a robot-journalist win a Pulitzer Prize?” Laugh it up while you can, humans. (HuffPost)
  2. Glen Taylor plans to appoint his daughter to the Star Tribune’s board: Deal is “on the verge of closing.” He tells Curt Brown, “Most business guys are saying about the newspaper thing: ‘Don’t do it. Don’t do it,’ and that’s why I’m doing it.” (The Star Tribune)
  3. NY1 will stop using the term “illegal immigrant”: “Instead, staff are encouraged to indicate that an individual is ‘here illegally,’ with ‘undocumented immigrant’ as a permissible fallback.” (Capital)
  4. Twitter says JAV can stay: During its broadcast of Jose Antonio Vargas‘ film “Documented” last night, CNN polled people with a tweet: “Do you think Jose should be deported?” 63 percent of people said he should stay.
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The Washington Post’s former owner wants to send dreamers to college

The Washington Post

Donald E. Graham, a former owner of The Washington Post, has created a fund to help send “dreamers” — children who came with their parents to the U.S. without legal permission — to college, according to a story Monday by Lyndsey Layton in the Post.

Donald E. Graham has created “TheDream.US,” a $25 million fund that aims to award full-tuition college scholarships to 1,000 students in the next academic year.

“I’m not wise enough to know what is the right immigration policy for the United States of America,” said Graham, who contributed an undisclosed amount to the fund, as did his brother, Bill. “I know these students deserve a chance at higher education.”

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Feds are focused on ‘public safety threats,’ and Jose Antonio Vargas isn’t one

Associated Press | The New York Times
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement didn’t detain Jose Antonio Vargas after his traffic arrest Friday because he’s not a priority: “ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of public safety threats, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States,” agency spokesperson Gillian Christensen told reporters.

In The New York Times, Julia Preston reports Vargas returned to New York and will go back to Minnesota for arraignment later this month to face charges of driving without a license. “I am grateful to have made it home Friday night,” he told Preston. Vargas missed the lecture he was planning to give at Carleton College; he was pulled over for driving wearing headphones but arrested after a Minnesota State Patrol officer found his Washington state driver’s license had been canceled. Read more

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Immigration officials didn’t ask for Vargas to be detained after arrest

Politico | Minneapolis Star Tribune
An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told Politico reporter Katie Glueck the agency didn’t issue a notice to Minnesota police that it intended to take custody of activist journalist Jose Antonio Vargas after he was arrested for driving without a valid license Friday.

“Mr. Vargas was not arrested by ICE and no detainer was issued,” an unnamed official wrote Glueck in an email. Read more

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Jose Antonio Vargas arrested for driving without a valid license

MinnPost
Journalist turned immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas was arrested Friday in Minnesota for driving without a valid license. The offense typically leads to a citation, rather than an arrest, reports Beth Hawkins for MinnPost, so it’s unclear why Vargas was arrested. He was released soon after and tweeted:


Vargas is scheduled to appear in court in two weeks, on Oct. 18, Hawkins reports. Read more

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Looks like Jose Antonio Vargas won’t be deported anytime soon

Time magazine
Jose Antonio Vargas feared being departed after he revealed last year in The New York Times Magazine that he is in the U.S. illegally. Though his driver’s license was revoked by the state of Washington and he worries that a TSA agent will check his Filipino passport for a visa stamp, he’s still here. The reason is delightfully bureaucratic:

I spend every day wondering what, if anything, the government plans to do with me. After months of waiting for something to happen, I decided that I would confront immigration officials myself. Since I live in New York City, I called the local ICE office. The phone operators I first reached were taken aback when I explained the reason for my call. Finally I was connected to an ICE officer.

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