Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented journalist and activist, was released by U.S. Border Patrol on Tuesday after he was arrested before boarding a flight from McAllen, Tex. to Los Angeles, Calif., according to a statement from Vargas’ organization Define American.
“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,” Vargas said in the statement.
Vargas traveled to the border town of McAllen to interview undocumented children who fled from their home countries in Central America. Once he arrived, he realized that he would have to pass through a Border Patrol checkpoint or attempt to fly to another American city in order to leave.
“As an unaccompanied child migrant myself, I came to McAllen, 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,” he said in the Tuesday evening statement.