An undocumented immigrant, Cesar Vargas, who was officially allowed to practice law in New York State, has been receiving death threats. The prominent rights advocate told RT people had called him a “filthy illegal alien” and they were “going to get him.”
Cesar Vargas’ application to the New York State Bar made the
headlines when the state Appellate Court approved his application
despite his undocumented status. However, he now says he is
receiving death threats, some of which were left on social media,
while others were left as recorded messages.
“I am going to come and get you”, “Filthy illegal
alien” and, “You broke the law,” were some of the
messages Vargas, who is the co-director of the prominent
immigrant rights group, Dream Action Coalition, received.
“You know not everyone is going to be supportive but we can’t
just be fearful for fighting for something that’s right,”
Vargas told RT.
Vargas mentioned that he and his team, who have also received
threatening messages, now have to use Google numbers to prevent
their phones from being in the public domain.
With his newly obtained license to practice law, Vargas says he
will specialize in immigration law.
“It’s personal and not a big surprise there, but throughout
the process, I understood that its not just the legal process,
not just immigration system, the whole system needs to be
modernized. The system has to be reformed,” he said.
“We cannot keep going with a nation with laws that are
outdated, we need to be making and changing the system with new
laws. I lived in a broken immigration system and that is what is
driving me to immigration law.”
Vargas received his law degree in 2011, the same year he passed
his New York Bar exam. He was then was accepted into the DACA –
the Deferred Action Childhood program, which was established by
the Obama Administration. It grants undocumented children
temporary work papers and an embargo on deportation.
However, his admission to the State Bar was challenged by a
judicial committee who denied his application. They acknowledged
that Vargas “appears to have stellar character,” but
recommended against admittance, solely “for the purpose of
having the Court make a decision based on immigration
Following the appeal court’s ruling on June 3, Vargas immediately
called his mother who brought him to the US when we was only
“I told her ‘Mom you did it, your son is going to be a
lawyer,’” Vargas said. “That was my most significant
reaction, it wasn’t about what job am I going to get, it was
about my mom.”
Initially Vargas was worried he and his family would be put into
the spotlight, but said people needed to know who the
undocumented immigrants are.
“I’ve been getting death threats for a lot of the advocacy
work that we do. There are people who don’t see this point of
view,” said Vargas. “But the majority of people in the
US do change their hearts and minds when they know who we