Please attribute the following statement to Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California:
The ACLU of Southern California is greatly concerned by the Department of Homeland Security’s decision Tuesday to detain Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was in Texas to report and write on the current crisis at the border. Clearly, Mr. Vargas does not fall within the Department of Homeland Security’s 2011 enforcement priorities that specifically call on agents to focus on individuals that pose a public safety risk. Mr. Vargas’ case, however, does fall within the department’s directive that requires that agents show discretion when dealing with individuals who have been present in the U.S. since childhood. Unfortunately, DHS has failed to comply with its own rules. His needless detention is a waste of public resources at the border.

Contact: Sandra Hernandez,, 213.977.5252