Jose Antonio Vargas Wins June Sidney for Account of His Life as an Undocumented Immigrant
- In 2003, Vargas had an opportunity to intern at the Washington Post, but he needed a drivers’ license. He managed to obtain one, but it was only good for 8 years. He decided to get on with his life and hope that immigration reform would pass before his only piece of official identification expired on Feb 3, 2011.
- Vargas landed a reporting job at the Washington Post. He confided his status to his supervisor, who assured him that they’d handle the problem together. This boss was one of the “underground railroad” of supportive friends and mentors whom Vargas thanks for helping him survive as an undocumented immigrant.
- In 2008, Vargas shared a Pulitzer Prize for the Washington Post’s coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre. When his grandmother phoned to give him the news she scolded him in Tagalog, “Anong mangyayari kung malaman ng mga tao?” (“What will happen if people find out?”).
Certificate designed by Edward Sorel
The Sidney is awarded monthly to a piece published in an American magazine, newspaper, on a news site, or a blog. Television and radio broadcasts by an American news outlet are also eligible, as are published photography series.
Deadlines are the last day of each month. The piece must have been published in the month preceding the deadline. In the case of magazines, please nominate according to the issue date on the publication, not when it first appeared.
Nominations are accepted for one's own work, or for someone else's.
The Foundation will announce a winner on the second Wednesday of each month. Recipients will be awarded $500, a bottle of union-made wine, and a certificate designed especially for the Sidney by New Yorker cartoonist, Edward Sorel.
If you wish to nominate yourself or a piece by anyone else, please click here for our nomination form.If you have any further questions about the nomination process, please send your inquiry to [email protected]