The state of Washington has canceled the driver’s license of a journalist who, in a New York Times Magazine article last month, revealed that for 14 years he kept a secret from his U.S. employers: He is an illegal immigrant.
In a piece he penned under the headline, “My life as an undocumented immigrant,” Jose Antonio Vargas laid bare details of a life built on lies that started with his arrival as a 12-year-old on a fake passport from the Philippines 18 years ago.
The revelation by Vargas sparked new conversations around the divisive issue of immigration and renewed calls for the federal government to address it.
Vargas, who had been sent by his mother to live with his grandparents in California, described how he kept his secret while employed with a series of news organizations, including The Washington Post, where he became part of a team of reporters who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings.
He obtained a Washington driver’s license weeks before his Oregon license was to expire on his 30th birthday earlier this year.
Washington is alone with New Mexico in granting full driver’s licenses to people in the country illegally. Utah issues them only for driving, not for ID purposes. Oregon changed its laws three years ago.
Read more at The Seattle Times