As Hamilton's piece noted, Vargas has written for The New Yorker, Washington Post (where he won the Pulitzer for his coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007), and The New York Times Magazine, which published his essay, "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant" last June. His provocative public confession that, when he was 12, his mother sent him to the U.S. from the Philippines with a fake passport, stirred debate about what it means to be an "illegal immigrant."
And, not surprisingly, Hamilton's post to Daily Weekly stirred debate in our comment section.
Commenter wadegraham writes:
Jose is an inspiration. And a great writer. Our underground railroad exists today and it's native born Americans who realize our immigration system is in shambles and its consequences are immoral. Applause to those people who reach out past the hate and lend a hand. They're you're neighbors and pastors and friends, you just might not know it. And for the haters out there, my guess is that those hidden allies - and those immigrants living in the shadows - will win in the end. And that's good for all of us.
To which commenter bigriggs responds:
An inspiration for what? How to keep living in this country illegaly all the while thumbing your nose at federal laws? We already have some of the laxest immigration laws in the world. We allow over one million new legal citizens every year, a majority of which are from Mexico.
Our immigration system is in a shambles because of people like Vargas and his supporters. How dare we enforce laws that are fine and just. It's too hard on some and probably hurts their feelings. Boo frickin hoo.
To which commenter Ignatz responds:
He was brought here as a child and has no responsibility for those actions. He is, for all intents and purposes, an American.
You'd be sentencing a contributing member of society to a foreign land, where he has few connections to the culture or people there.