Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and outspoken immigrant advocate Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented Filipino immigrant, was arrested Tuesday morning at a Border Patrol checkpoint in McAllen, Texas, as he tried to board a flight.
Mr. Vargas said on Twitter that he did not realize until until he arrived that he would have to cross through a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint to leave the Rio Grande Valley.
“About to go thru security at McAllen Airport. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he tweeted Tuesday morning.
Mr. Vargas has said that he travels on a valid Filipino passport, but it does not have a current United States visa. He has traveled extensively promoting a documentary film he produced, “Documented,” about life as an undocumented immigrant.
He told the news agency in an interview that he had not been stopped at airport checkpoints because Transportation Security Administration officials checked his passport but not his immigration status.
“The only IDs I have for security: Philippine passport and my pocketbook U.S. Constitution,” he tweeted later on Tuesday.
Mr. Vargas has lived in the U.S. without papers since he was 13 and formerly worked for The Washington Post, where he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer in 2008, The Associated Press said. He wrote about his status as an undocumented immigrant in The New York Times magazine in 2011.