Jose Vargas is single, but is he ready to mingle for a green card?

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

September 27, 2013

NEW YORK–Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Filipino Journalist says he came out twice in his life.

First, he came out of the closet. “My lola was so funny — do you have to tell them you’re bakla too?” Vargas said, “My lola was like, huwag mo nang sabihin na bakla ka hindi na kailangan..”

Secondly, in 2011, he came out in a big way, via the New York Times, to tell his life story as an undocumented immigrant.

He was 16 when Vargas decided to get, on his own, a driver’s license – only to find out that the documents he brought to the DMV were fake.

“I decided I had enough of this and that I was gonna come out for the second time,” Vargas said, “I came home and confronted my grandfather, that was the first time I realized that I’m an undocumented immigrant, what some people call an illegal.”

In his film called “Documented” – he was often asked by curious Americans why can’t he just legalize his status.

Back then Vargas would often reply that being gay and undocumented — he can’t marry his way into citizenship.

But with the death of DOMA – When the supreme court decided to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex marriage is now recognized by the USCIS and married gay couples can now petition their non-US citizen spouses, even the undocumented, to legalize their status.

“My way in, hey you know, if I find somebody to marry, that would be great, there’s no time, so I’m trying to make some time for social life, that’s one of my goals, I’m about to turn 33,” Vargas joked.

When asked if he is single and looking, Vargas candidly said yes.

“Am I single and looking. Yes I’m single so I dunno, we’ll see,” he said, “if I meet the right guy that my Lola would like, that would be good. It would be great to find a Filipino Guy to meet too.”

While Vargas can marry his way into citizenship now, he says it’s not going to be that easy.

Vargas said, “If I get married and fall in love, that’s one way to make myself to adjust my immigration status and become legal and that’s something I dunno, we’ll see.”

But for now, while the immigration reform bill is stalled in the house – Vargas says he is busy screening his documentary around the country hoping that his story would change minds on the perceptions about the undocumented and why there is a need for immigration overhaul.

“Our goal is to really get it out to many different communities, to many different states as possible this fall, said Vargas, “I’m gonna be as ambitious as possible in rolling that out — the goal is to show the film in as many conservative area as possible,” he said.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Jorge Buesa
    28 September 2013 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Yes same-sex marriage is now recognized by some states in America ? My state don’t recognized same sex marriage. Hey vargas be careful your upset alot of Americans by going around to documentary ? I feel your very lucky that your in America yet ? I don’t know why you are, but alot of people is begin send back to they country ! In my eyes your illegal in America !

    • Wil
      29 September 2013 at 7:46 am - Reply

      This is one time I’ll agree with you. He should be sent back to his own country. He is illegally in the United States, he needs to be deported. He can apply his trade in his own country.

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