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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Detained by US Border Patrol

Immigration rights advocate Jose Antonio Vargas describes his detention at the border, the plight of other immigrants.
2:21 | 07/16/14

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Transcript for Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Detained by US Border Patrol
much. Also morning, new controversy in the immigration debate. A pulitzer prize-winning journalist, also an undocumented immigrant held at the Texas border. Jim Avila is live with that story. Good morning, Jim. Reporter: Good morning, Lara. Jose Antonio vargas, one of this country's biggest advocates for immigration reform spent a day in custody of the border patrol detained right along with the kids and mothers from central America he went to help. America's most famous undocumented immigrant arrested and detained Tuesday by the border patrol in McAllen, Texas, speaking first to ABC news about the ordeal? It was really surreal and scary and very emotional thinking that I'm getting arrested for boarding a plane in my own country. I'm going to tell you something, that I haven't told a lot of people, I'm actually an undocumented immigrant. Reporter: Jose Antonio vargas, a pulitzer prize-winning author and documentarian who came to the U.S. From the Philippines at the age of 12 went to the texas/mexico border this week to document the humanitarian crisis underway among central American unaccompanied children. He has no U.S. Driver's license, birth certificate or passport. I just didn't realize going down to McAllen that that was the situation, that border patrol would be checking my passport right next to tsa. Reporter: When he tried to travel back north a border patrol agent stationed at the airport cuffed him and sent him to be processed holding him for eight hours releasing him with an immigration court date. I got out. Many people are not getting out. Reporter: Earlier in the day vargas tweeted this picture showing his filipino passport and minute Tur version of the U.S. Constitution he traveled with. He's London living in the united States for 20 years and considers himself an American. You're talking about the most privileged undocument immigrant in America. Can you emergency all these other 11 million people who just want to live their lives with dignity. I dare any politician to go down there, look at the eyes of these children and tell them, I'm going to send you home. Reporter: Vargas insists this was no stunt. He's never been arrested before and he travels all over the country. The border patrol says its agents are always stationed at airports near the border and vargas openly told one he had no legal papers but had no choice but to arrest him.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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