As the conversation continues regarding Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who came out in The New York Times as an undocumented immigrant, I wanted to highlight one of the most touching parts of his message. He’s making the media rounds arguing that our current immigration system is so broken that is has created “a 21st century underground railroad” of parents, pastors, teachers, coaches, and mentors who are caring for and protecting undocumented immigrants–especially kids. I met one such activist recently–a Spanish teacher who lives in the Philadelphia-area–and he told me about the joy he gets from advocating for some of the Mexican immigrants in his community regarding labor and housing issues, educational opportunities, and so much else. I asked him why he did it and he answered very plainly: “It just feels right.” That kind of generous simplicity is, to my mind, what being American should be all about.
Here he is, talking about this and much more, on The Rachel Maddow Show: