Who knew research could be done without a database?

As part of my early research for Project 2, I read an article¬†published in the New York Times entitled, “My Life as and Undocumented Immigrant.” This is a personal essay by Jose Antonio Vargas, an accomplished journalist who happens to be an undocumented immigrant. He tells the story of coming to America as a child, growing up as an American and keeping his citizenry a secret, and ultimately going to college and becoming very successful – all the while living in fear that he will be found out.

I strongly believe that this piece, and others like it, will heavily influence my work through their focus on perspective. I found this piece to be very powerful in that it gives us a personal story of what it means to be a foreigner in this country. Adding a face to the narrative really makes it personally touching (I’ve included a picture of Vargas in this post). Furthermore, the goals of this piece seem to be in line with my own – shedding light on immigration in the context of culture by exposing the people who are really affected.

One way that this differs from my goals is that it focuses on illegal immigration, whereas I am leaning towards a focus of lawful entry into this country. While I empathize with the motives of some illegal immigrants, I’m not sure that I’m in a position to comment on their integrity or their right to be in this country.


Jose Antonio Vargas. This is the photo that appeared with his personal essay.

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