Jose Antonio Vargas tweeted that he was kicked out of a Mitt Romney rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Friday.
Vargas arrived at the rally with a sign that read, "I am an American without papers." After being escorted out of the event by a police officer, he tweeted that he "was not causing a ruckus." He added that he was "merely trying to ask a question, which is what a journalist does."
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist shocked the media world in June when he revealed that he was an undocumented immigrant in a New York Times Magazine article. Vargas, formerly a senior contributing editor for The Huffington Post,
told ABC News that while his decision to out himself as an undocumented immigrant was risky, he did so in an effort to fight for immigrant rights and the passage of the DREAM Act.
Romney camp spokesperson Ryan Williams responded to the incident and said that "Vargas was attending as an activist, not a journalist." Vargas reportedly did not have media credentials on him and was asked to leave the media event for this reason. Williams said that "Mr. Vargas was allowed to attend the event in his capacity as an activist."
New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman reported that Vargas was in Iowa to "[blog] and [interview] voters and candidates as part of his new organization, Define American, which he co-founded to raise awareness for the nearly 12 million undocumented workers who live in the shadows."
Vargas posted a statement explaining his motives on his Facebook page.
Yes, I got kicked out of Mitt Romney rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, escorted by a cop to leave the premises. I am here for Define American, asking tough questions about immigration to GOP voters and GOP candidates. A journalist's job is to tell the truth. Let's tell the truth about immigration.
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