ICE Refuses to Deport Jose Vargas

Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) refused to deport Mr. Jose Antonio Vargas, an admitted illegal alien, and felon.   The Minnesota State Patrol pulled over Mr. Vargas, who was in Minnesota to give a lecture, for wearing earphones while driving.  (Star Tribune, Oct. 6, 2012) When Vargas presented law enforcement with a Washington State driver’s license that had been canceled due to possible fraudulent activity, the State Patrol arrested him and called ICE. (Id.) After his arrest, police took Vargas to the Hennepin County jail, where ICE agents questioned him.  He walked out a free man.  (New York Times, Oct. 8, 2012)

Mr. Vargas first made headlines in June 2011 for his story in The New York Times Magazine, in which he described his life as an illegal alien in the United States.  (New York Times Magazine, June 22, 2011) In that article, he admits not only that he is an illegal alien, but that he has committed multiple crimes in order to stay and work in the United States as a reporter for several well-known newspapers. Audaciously, a year later, Mr. Vargas authored a story for Time Magazine, entitled “Not Legal Not Leaving.” (Time Magazine, June 25, 2012) In this article, he expresses pride in the fact that his actions have encouraged other illegal aliens to publicly admit their illegal status.  Regarding the fact that he has not yet been deported, he boasts, “coming out didn’t endanger me; it [] protected me.” (Id.)

Indeed, Mr. Vargas’s story presents astonishing evidence that the Obama Administration intends to pick and choose which immigration laws it enforces and when.  This becomes only to clear when one considers the fact that Mr. Vargas, in his original article, admits to committing the following offenses:

  1. Knowingly altering a document prescribed by statute as evidence of authorized employment in the United States, or using or possessing such document, knowing it to be forged or altered: a felony punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. 1546(a).  This violation also makes the crime an “aggravated felony” under 8 U.S.C. 101(a)(43)(P).
  2. Using: an identification document, knowing (or having reason to know) that the document was not issued lawfully for the use of the possessor; an identification document knowing (or having reason to know) that the document is false; and, a false attestation, for the purpose of establishing work authorization: all of which are felonies punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. 1546(b).
  3. Falsely representing that a Social Security Number is his own (to obtain work): a felony punishable by up to 5 years under 42 U.S.C. 408(a)(7)(A), (b).
  4. Knowingly using a Social Security Number obtained upon the basis of false information provided by him or another (Vargas states he knew his grandfather used a fake passport to obtain his SSN): a felony punishable by up to 5 years under 42 U.S.C. 408(a)(7)(B), (b).
  5. Knowingly altering a Social Security Card (Vargas altered the Social Security Card, obtained with a fake passport, to remove words restricting work authorization): a felony punishable by up to 5 years under 42 U.S.C. 408(a)(7)(C), (b).
  6. Falsely claiming citizenship (on I-9 forms filled out when applying for jobs): a felony punishable by up to three years under 18 U.S.C. 911.
  7. Knowingly submitting false information or committing fraud in order to obtain a Washington State Driver’s License: a misdemeanor under Washington state law (RCW 46.20.0921(1)(e))
  8. Knowingly providing false information (including an address) to receive a driver’s license: a Class A misdemeanor under Oregon state law (17 Oregon Rev. Stat. 807.530)

Remarkably, instead of being embarrassed when asked why the law enforcement agency did not detain and begin removal proceedings on Vargas, ICE showed defiance.  “Mr. Vargas was not arrested by ICE, nor did the agency issue a detainer,” said an ICE spokeswoman in a statement. (Politico, Oct. 8, 2012) “ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of public safety threats, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States.” (Id.)

Not only does ICE’s statement regarding Mr. Vargas demonstrate complete disdain for the rule of law, it raises the serious question of whether ICE is even following its own policies on the detention and removal of illegal aliens.  The agency’s policy memo on deportation priorities clearly points out that ICE’s first priority for removal is placed on aliens who are a threat to public safety, including terrorists and criminal aliens—and in the latter case felons and aggravated felons in particular.  Yet, ICE may still try to claim it is following agency policy as Mr. Vargas was never prosecuted for or convicted of the above crimes.  Such an argument, however, leads to no other conclusion that ICE – our nation’s immigration law enforcement agency – intends to turn a blind eye to confessed criminals.  Mr. Vargas not only admitted to the entire world that he was an illegal alien and had committed additional serious crimes, he even admitted he knew he was breaking the law when he committed the acts themselves.  He wrote that, like most Americans, even he expected the federal government to deport him.  However, to-date the Obama Administration has done nothing.

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  1. avatar

    Disgusted! Once again the picking/ choosing of laws they want to follow. However , American citizens are being prosecuted and punished for the very laws that the illegals are getting away with. You say the people won’t let these people take their country. Let me assure you they have,while Americans are doing nothing . They have colonize us without a shot with the help of our own bleeding hearts. By refusing to assimilate, we have to see everything in Spanish . They are desenitizing America as we speak by injecting Spanish everywhere they can. It can be one word in a commercial (where it’s not needed), to a full blown Spanish commercial. Companies, politicians have bought into the hype we must please the Hispanics , so let’s put our people at danger/ leave the borders open. Let’s take away American jobs because they refuse to assimilate, now they must be bilinguile. Let’s give amnesty /work permits to illegals at a time our American citizens are in need of jobs. As long as Americans sit on the sidelines, while these millions of illegals will take to our streets unafraid to fight for rights they are not due. While YOUR government does more for them than YOU. It’s great to know we agree, but preaching to the choir is not going to get us a dang thing. Americans need to wake up, stand up, and fight for their country like illegals are!!!

  2. avatar

    Carleton college in Northfield Mn. Should be charged with aiding, and abetting a felon, and be fined, or have its accreditation revoked for being for criminal felicitation, or supporting a criminal enterprise namely monetary support of a known illegal alien.

  3. avatar

    Obama and this administration has no regard for our rule of law. We welcome over a million immigrants legally. Why do we have to support people from foreign countries who think they are above our laws? Why would our country want cheaters, who lie to come and stay here, thieves who have stolen SS#’s, it could be yours or your dead child’s #, take services because the managed to get over the border. Since when were these people role models for citizenship? It use to be that character and the way a person conducted their life was something we honored. Today, morals and character seem to something of the past. Our heroes were Washington, Lincoln and the great immigrants who came here, honored our laws, respected our country, our flag and worked to make our country great. Illegals today want an easy way into this country and demand rights they don’t deserve!

  4. avatar

    Thank goodness for Mr. Vargas.
    I warn people who are irritated by the undocumented in this country that you are on the wrong side of history. These people are here to stay and their children will vote in the not so far away future. Welcome them and adapt you have no choice.

    • avatar

      We ARE a country of law. If a country has no laws or rules it becomes a country like Mexico where the drug cartels rule. Is that what you see for America? We can not support everyone of the world who want to come here. Our states are broke educating, feeding, giving medical treatment, services to these people who take from our country yet send millions back to Mexico. Americans pay taxes to support the poor of our country but shouldn’t be forced to take care of people of other failed countries. America is suffering. People in this country don’t have jobs! We certainly don’t need a illegal roaming our country telling how he came here illegally, got an education, a job, all without papers and bucked the system. It only encourages more to follow suit!

    • avatar

      @ Sue- Thank GOODNESS? What do you find so good about a low-life criminal? Bet you voted for this administration, the most corrupt in American history. Makes Nixon look like an alter boy. As to your snide comment about the wrong side of history, well you better wake up. If you think that the people will sit back and let these illegals take over this country then you are disillusioned as they are. The day is fast approaching when there will be civil unrest in the streets, and the violence will not abate until every one of them flees for the border of their beloved country.

    • avatar

      Sue: You obviously have no regard for the 14 million give or take legal Americans who are unemployed through no fault of their own. You are a disgrace to our country since your compassion is for those individuals here illegally rather than our own citizens.

  5. avatar

    We the people of the United States are paying almost 100 (count them) Federal law enforcement agencies to enforce the laws of this country. If any of these agencies refuse to do the job that they are being paid extremely well to perform, they should be fired on the spot. If ICE can’t enforce laws against illegals in this country, then we do not need ICE.

  6. avatar

    That shows my point. Since Obama came in only LAWS which he agrees with are enforced. This vargas fellow should be put on the next cargo boat heading back to his native land. Likewise, the Black Panthers should be locked up in Prison for their intimidation of voters at election time. Obama and the head of ICE should be prosecuted for failure to enforce US Laws

  7. avatar

    This is another stupid issue that proves the
    idiocy of this administration, we have to rectify this situation. Illegals will never
    obbain by our laws and we can close our eyes to this problem. Legal Americans have more than 15% unemployment becuase of the illegals
    taking up jobs and our schools. The tax payers are way over taxed and this is just one issue. Let’s clear out this Administration by voting them out!
    May God Bless America Again!

  8. avatar

    I’m so thoroughly disgusted at the Obama Administration’s stance on illegal aliens. Just looking at the number of crimes committed on legal citizens of this country by illegal aliens should be enough to have our Presient protect us!!!! Not only have we no voice in the illegal alien problem, but we get arrogant excuses for them not doing their duty.


    • avatar
      Jacqueline Kruger on

      Do you know what Romney’s position is on Amnesty? He wants to give amnesty to those who are already here and close the border or so he says…..He flip flops and tells a few white lies now and then. Reagan already tried that in the 80’s for millions of illegals……they just keep on coming.. because nobody is minding the border…..borders are not necessary for a North American Union, the loss of our sovereignty….it’s coming unless you vote ALL OF THE PROGRESSIVES OUT OF OFFICE. Vote Dr. Ron Paul 2012.

  9. avatar

    I See NUMBERSUSA Are Joining ICE Agents’ Lawsuit Against Obama’s DHS and USCIS

    Against the Dream Act IA amnesty this summer. The Mississippi Governor is joining this lawsuit against DHS. Numbersusa is funding the lawsuit, they need $50K….definitely a worthy cause for FAIRUS.ORG to join into too!!!

    Its time to sue the government for anarchy!!!

    • avatar
      Romney Dickinson on

      I am not in disagreement with you “softwareengineer”, BUT the sad fact is just who in the hell is going to sue the government? There has never been a time when the old saying is more true than now; “I love my country and hate the government”. I have more than hate for this government and this administration. I do not see how anyone who loves America, our Constitution, God or our families could trust, respect, admire, or vote for these traitors and criminals. If the fool in the White House is reelected then Ameirica is done. So if the fool still sits in OUR White House after November 6 everyone should gather up family, close friends and build a strong network intended for survival, protection, and fighting back to take OUR nation back from these evil and traitorous Marxists and pro radical Islamists.

      • avatar


        I hear you, its like the old saying, “you can’t sue city hall”….hogwash in this case. You know, it doesn’t really matter if the ICE worker bees against amnesty [like us] win or lose itrs case….its making it crystal clear that the morality and root cause identification of the issue that’s important. Don’t blame ICE line workers and border guards for the Organised Crime management that has control over their agencies.

        They think just like us….hades, probably more so 🙂