02/13/2013 03:11:49 PM EST
Jose Antonio Vargas 'Defines American'
"In our America, millions of households are mixed-status immigrant households. Like mine. Sitting behind me today is my Filipino-American family: my grandma Leonila, whom I love very much; my Aunt Aida Rivera, who helped raised 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” - no human being is illegal - you’re not only dehumanizing me, you’re offending them. ... The reality is, our America is actually your America. My future is tied to your future. My equality is tied to your equality. Our America is part of the continuing and evolving story of the immigrant nation that is our country." - Jose Antonio Vargas' Senate testimony, Feb. 13, 2013.