Jose Antonio Vargas arrived from the Philippines when he was 12. Over time, he was able to graduate from college, start and succeed in a career as an award-winning journalist (even part of a team that won a Pulitzer)—all while being undocumented. Vargas became one of the faces of the movement in a prominent coming out process that has been reported on by the New York Times, Time magazine, among others.
"Documented," his compelling story, premieres Sunday June 29th at 9pm and 11pm Eastern on CNN. GLAAD, along with many other organizations, including one Vargas founded, Define American, a Public Interest Project, will be hosting watch parties that day.
Audiences will get a chance to peek into the life of one man at the intersection of being LGBT and undocumented. In the movie, Vargas makes it clear that his decision to let the world know about his immigration status was harder than the one he made to let his family, community and co-workers know about his being gay.
That is why he agreed to let cameras film his story as he set about confronting the immigration system in order to try to fix his status. The glimpses he provides into his painful separation and virtual reunion with his mother along with the candid moments when he lives the twists and turns of policy decisions about immigration that impact him are powerful and revealing.
For many immigrants like Vargas, it's been painful to see immigration reform stalled. The Senate passed a bill a year ago on June 27, 2013, but the House majority leader has not brought the legislation up for a vote.
In the meantime, thousands of immigrants are separated from their families, others work hard but without the documentation they need to do this safely, while still others are exploited by employers who know their status or are stuck in long-term detention in privately run centers. "Documented" hopes to start a discussion amongst us all about the people all around us whose lives are impacted every day by issues related to immigration.
Join GLAAD and tune in on Sunday to see "Undocumented" on CNN.