With great fanfare and elite media sympathy, Jose Antonio Vargas publicly declared himself an "undocumented immigrant" this week. "Undocumented" my you-know-what. In the felony-friendly pages of The New York Crimes — er, Times — the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist turned illegal-alien activist spilled the beans on all the illegal IDs he amassed over the years. He had documents coming out of his ears.
The Times featured full-color photos of Vargas' fake document trove — including a fake passport with a fake name, a fake green card and a Social Security card his grandfather doctored for him at a Kinko's. He committed perjury repeatedly on federal I-9 employment eligibility forms. In 2002, while pursuing his journalism career goals, an immigration lawyer told him he needed to accept the consequences of his law-breaking and return to his native Philippines.
Following the rules would have meant a 10-year bar to reentry into America. Making false claims of citizenship is a felony offense. Document fraud is a felony offense.
Vargas, who frames himself as a helpless victim, freely chose instead to secure yet more dummy documents. He used a friend's address to obtain an Oregon driver's license under false pretenses. It gave him an eight-year golden ticket to travel by car, board trains and airplanes, work at prestigious newspapers, and even gain access to the White House — where crack Secret Service agents allowed him to attend a state dinner using his bogus Social Security number.
At least Vargas tells the truth when he says he's not alone. Go visit a 7-11 in the D.C. suburbs. Or the countless vendors in MacArthur Park in East L.A. Or any of the 19 cities in 11 states from Massachusetts to Ohio to Kentucky where a massive, Mexico-based "highly sophisticated and violent" fraudulent-document trafficking ring operated until February 2011. "Undocumented workers" and "undocumented immigrants" have plenty of documents.
The persistent use of these open-borders euphemisms to describe Vargas and countless millions like him is a perfect illumination of the agenda-driven, dominant progressive media.
They're as activist inside their newsrooms as Vargas is out in the open now. Bleeding-heart editors were hoaxed by a prominent colleague, exposed to liability, and yet still champion his serial subversion of the law. San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein bragged that he was "duped" by Vargas, but endorses his "subterfuge" because Vargas' lobbying campaign for the illegal-alien student bailout known as the DREAM Act "just might lubricate the politically tarred-up wheels of government and help craft sane immigration policy."
Who's insane? The Vargas deceit is not an object lesson about America's failure to show compassion. It's another stark reminder of America's dangerous failure to learn from 9/11.
Time and again, security experts have warned about how jihadists have exploited lax immigration and ID enforcement. Driver's licenses are gateways into the American mainstream. They allow residents to establish an identity and gain a foothold into their communities. They help you open bank accounts, enter secure facilities, board planes, and do things like drive tractor-trailers carrying hazardous materials.
It's been nearly 10 years since several of the 19 9/11 hijackers operated in the country using hundreds of illicitly obtained fake driver's licenses and IDs. Most states tightened licensing rules, yet Vargas easily obtained a driver's license not only in Oregon, but more recently in Washington State. He again used a friend's residence to pass muster. Washington State's licensing bureaucracy still does not check citizenship. The man sitting in the White House campaigned to keep driver's license laws as loose as possible for the open-borders lobby. He appointed illegal-alien lobbyists to top federal immigration positions. His head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement just signed a memo pushing the DREAM Act through by administrative fiat. And the privacy of illegal aliens still trumps national security.
I ask again: Who's insane?
Vargas believes his sob story is an argument for giving up on immigration enforcement and passing a mass amnesty. It's a sob story, all right. Homeland security officials across the country should be weeping at the open mockery Vargas and his enablers have made of the law.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.