UPDATED (Tuesday, 10 a.m. EDT): Jose Antonio Vargas was detained by Border Patrol at McAllen-Miller International Airport while attempting to fly to Los Angeles. More information here


On July 5, Jose Antonio Vargas received a text message from Cristina Jimenez, the cofounder and managing director of the immigrant youth-led organization United We Dream.

“Hi love!” she wrote. “We are sending delegation to border earlier. We are going next week. Can you join us Thursday?”

Jimenez wanted Vargas to join the group at a vigil in McAllen, Texas, a border town in whichmany of the thousands of unaccompanied children who have flowed into America from Mexico in recent months are being held at a makeshift shelter. Vargas is perhaps the most famous undocumented immigrant in the U.S., owing to his activism after revealing his status in a 2011 New York Times essay — including a film on undocumented immigrants that aired on CNN.

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