Jul 1, 2011

Immigration Reality: An Embarrassing Question From Immigrant Journalists

A Filipinio journalist paints a larger picture of the dilemma of being without immigration documents.

An Embarrassing Question From Immigrant Journalists | Feet in 2 Worlds · Immigration news · Immigration reform · Immigrant communities: "It’s a question I thought was crude and in your face. But if you’re an undocumented immigrant journalist looking for work, there really is no better way to ask – “do you sponsor?”

I’ve been asked this question on occasion in the six years that I was managing editor of a major Filipino American newspaper. It’s a question I always found awkward dealing with. How do you say ‘sorry’ to a friend who calls with the question. The feeling is not any easier when a stranger is the one asking.

I read Pulitzer Award winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas’s New York Times essay, where he confessed to being an undocumented immigrant. I wondered if he ever uttered that question to any of his prospective editors. I’ve been told, it takes enormous guts and a thick face to ask it. Nakakahiya (‘It’s embarrassing’)."

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