30 June 2011

New campaign to focus on 'broken' US immigration system

Pulitzer-winning Jose Antonio Vargas has launched the 'Define American' campaign to elevate the issue of US immigration and put a new focus on America's undocumented residents.

US immigration

Jose Antonio Vargas has launched the 'Define American' campaign.

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer-winning journalist who recently made the controversial revelation that he is an undocumented American who came to live in the country as a child without a US Visa.

Originally from the Philippines, Vargas has now launched the 'Define American' campaign to focus on the issue of US immigration.

From the Define American website, their mission is stated as follows:

"Our request is simple: Let’s talk. Our immigration system is broken -- and fixing it requires a conversation that’s bigger and more effective than the one that we’ve become accustomed to."

Vargas announced his own undocumented status in an essay featured in a New York Times Magazine essay on June 26. In it, he described his voyage from the Philippines, his life as a child in California and how his US immigration status affected his life in America.

“My story does not exist in a vacuum. I am only one of the countless undocumented immigrants from all walks of life who live in the shadow of our failed and broken system,” he said in his essay.

The launch of Define American comes as the DREAM Act receives its first Senate Hearing. The DREAM Act would create a pathway to American citizenship for thousands of young people who were brought to the United States years ago as children, proposing the completion of either two years of college or military service as the means to gaining citizenship status.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their ESTA application to the US Embassy.

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