VIDEO: Jose Antonio Vargas Testifies in Congress

Feb 13, 2013
2:26 PM

Here is just a part of what Define American‘s Jose Antonio Vargas shared at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on immigration today.


Watch what Vargas had to say. Near the end of his opening remarks, he asks a very simple question: What do you want to do with us?

In this video excerpt, Vargas makes a point or two about the perception of the undocumented.

POLITICO published some of Vargas’ remarks:

We dream of a path to citizenship so we can actively participate in our American democracy.

We dream of not being separated from our families and our loved ones, regardless of sexual orientation, no matter our skill set. This government has deported more than 1.6 million people — fathers and mothers, sons and daughters — in the past four years.

We dream of contributing to the country we call our home.

In 21st century America, diversity is destiny. That I speak Tagalog — my first language; that I happen to be gay; that I was born in the Philippines — none of that threatens my love for this country. In America, the richness of our diversity — how connected and integrated we are as Americans — makes us stronger.

Sitting behind me today is my Filipino-American family — my grandma Leonila, whom I love very much; my Aunt Aida Rivera, who helped raise me; and my Uncle Conrad Salinas, who served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years. They’re all naturalized American citizens.

I am the only one in my extended family of 25 Americans who is undocumented. When you inaccurately call me “illegal,” you’re not only dehumanizing me, you’re offending them. No human being is illegal.