About the Show

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

We've moved! Come join us at our new show page.

We've moved! Come join us at our new show page.

national lead

June 27th, 2014
05:33 PM ET

Vargas: Undocumented and hiding in plain sight

Editor's note: Jose Antonio Vargas, the founder of Define American, is the writer and director of "Documented," airing on CNN on Sunday, June 29, at 9 p.m. ET. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) - "What do you want to do with me? What do you want to do with us? How do you define American?"

On behalf of 11 million undocumented immigrants like me - many of us Americans in all but papers - I asked those questions to the Senate Judiciary Committee in February 2013, nearly two years after I publicly outed myself as an undocumented immigrant in The New York Times Magazine.

Against the advice of lawyers, I wrote, in detail, what I had to do to live and survive in America: hide in plain sight as I worked as a journalist for more than a decade; lie on government forms to get jobs while paying taxes and contributing to Social Security(undocumented workers provide billions in both); grow estranged from my mother in the Philippines who put me on a plane to the United States in 1993. In outing myself, I risked everything and prepared myself for anything.

FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: National Lead