Illegal Immigrant: Don't Call Me "Illegal"

Katie Pavlich

2/13/2013 2:00:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

Back in December, "undocumented Americans" were in the running to become TIME Magazine's "Person of the Year" and just two weeks ago, Democratic Rep. John Conyers referred to illegal immigrants as simply "out of status" Americans. Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, illegal immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas asked Congress not to call him "illegal."

Jose Antonio Vargas, an illegal immigrant and former reporter, scolded a congressional panel on Wednesday, saying that he should not be called illegal, and saying it is an insult to his family who brought him here.

“When you inaccurately call me illegal, you not only dehumanize me, you’re offending them,” he said. “No human being is illegal.”

Mr. Vargas testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee alongside Chris Crane — a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent and president of the ICE agents’ union — who is unable to arrest him under the administration’s new non-deportation policies.

Mr. Vargas, who “came out” as an illegal immigrant several years ago, delivered an emotional plea for the country to legalize him.

How can Vargas be legalized if he isn't illegal? As a reminder, entering the United States without permission is a crime or in other words is, illegal.

A reminder about US Code-Section 1325- Improper Entry by Alien:

 (a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection;
misrepresentation and concealment of facts Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

(b) Improper time or place; civil penalties Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty