This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:
Earlier this week, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas revealed in a piece for the New York Times Magazine that he was an undocumented immigrant. His mom sent him to the United States from the Philippines he was 12, and he learned he wasn't a legal immigrant when he was 16. Vargas ended up using a driver's license from Oregon and a falsified social security card to work and write for publications like the Washington Post, where he won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize, the Huffington Post and the New Yorker.
Vargas explained that he wanted to share his story to help fight for the passage of the DREAM Act, which would help undocumented children gain citizenship if they join the military or attend college. He writes:
There are believed to be 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. We’re not always who you think we are. Some pick your strawberries or care for your children. Some are in high school or college. And some, it turns out, write news articles you might read. I grew up here. This is my home. Yet even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own.
Do you know anyone that immigrated to the U.S.? Do you think it should be easier for people from other countries to move to America and work legally? Do you think Vargas' story will help change America's immigration policy? Was it right for Vargas to lie? What do you think should happen to Vargas now that he has admitted he is an undocumented immigrant? What country did your parents originally come from? Your grandparents and your great-grandparents? What do you think it means to be American?
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