Jose Antonio Vargas, Immigrant Activist, Will Not Face Immigration Charges

PHOTO: Immigration authorities said Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, they wont take action against the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was arrested in Minnesota for driving without a valid license.

Jacquelyn Martin, File/AP Photo

Journalist and immigrant activist Jose Antonio Vargas will not face immigration charges after he was arrested late last week in Minnesota.

Vargas, who revealed his undocumented status in 2011, was apprehended at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Friday morning on charges of driving without a valid license. But he was released that same day and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced it would not pursue action against Vargas since he did not pose any "public safety threats."

"Mr. Vargas was not arrested by ICE nor did the agency issue a detainer," ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen, told the New York Times. "ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of public safety threats, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States."

It is possible Vargas could have faced action especially because the jurisdiction where he was arrested, Hennepin County, participates in the Secure Communities program. That program allows local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal authorities to help enforce immigration law.

He still must appear in court Oct. 18 for the traffic violation, the Times reported.

Vargas was brought from the Philippines as a youth and worked as a reporter at the Washington Post and Huffington Post before announcing his undocumented status in a New York Times Magazine piece last year.

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