Bryan Caplan  

Vargas and Understatement

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I am in awe of Jose Antonio Vargas.  He has more courage in his little finger than I have in my whole body.  Which makes his understated byline all the more puzzling:
Jose Antonio Vargas is a former reporter for The Washington Post and shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. He founded Define American, which seeks to change the conversation on immigration reform.
I don't get it.  If you've experienced the Orwellian injustice of immigration restrictions first hand, if you're willing to court deportation to a land you barely remember, you surely want to do more than "change the conversation on immigration reform."  Once you leave the safety of the closet, you might as well stand tall and openly proclaimI seek to open the borders of the United States and the world.



COMMENTS (7 to date)
Andrew writes:

Surely Vargas is trying to build political support by using moderate language like "change the conversation" instead of alienating people with "Open borders for all!"

eric writes:

Open borders is not a popular idea, even among the left, or specifically the NYTimes.

caveat bettor writes:

There are heroes--Vargas to you, William Stuntz to me--that are pretty much heroic because they see and do things differently than we do, right? Heroes don't come easily, I guess because our definition and expectation hurdles are so incredibly high. Stuntz is heroic to me because--on top of his brilliance and priorities and execution--he thought so much better of others relative to himself, and there is no human reason I can see for him to have lived life in this way.

Nathan Smith writes:

He hasn't read Principles of a Free Society, so he doesn't know that open borders is right.

Mark Brady writes:

"I am in awe of Jose Antonio Vargas. He has more courage in his little finger than I have in my whole body."

Really? It strikes me that most undocumented aliens have more courage than Jose Antonio Vargas. He is an educated and accomplished journalist who enjoys the support of influential people in the media. Most undocumented aliens are neither as educated nor accomplished and do not enjoy such support.

ajb writes:

Thieves and squatters have courage. After all they have as little regard for property rights as Caplan does for Americans' right to determine who can reside on US soil.

Caplan basically believes law breaking is heroic if it coincides with HIS moral intuitions and others' rights be damned. I hope he doesn't mind when others' intuitions clash with his.

MattW writes:

I really doubt that Vargas genuinely wants open borders. I think it's much more likely that he wants an easier path to citizenship or at least to legal residency for illegals who are already here.

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