Thursday, June 1, 2017

Jose Antonio Vargas Receives Honorary Degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice


Immigrant activist and DefineAmerican founder Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) received an honorary degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City yesterday.

Some highlights from the speech:

"Perhaps only in America can one of the leading public institutions committed to criminal justice––one named after the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, and a founding father of these United States––give someone like me this tremendous honor.  But here’s the truth that every immigrant, documented or undocumented, not just in the United States, but around the world, will tell you: Our lives are more than pieces of papers. Our lives are more than the laws that people, even politicians and presidents, don’t fully understand. Our lives are more than borders and walls."

He also discussed the #Immigrad hashtag, started by DefineAmerican, which encouraged undocumented graduates to share their stories.  Vargas included several of those stories in his speech...including my very own former law student Cristel Martinez, who just graduated from Western State College of Law and is now studying for the bar.  (Sorry readers, I had to brag for just a moment).


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