TIME Magazine’s cover drew attention to undocumented immigrants like Jose Antonio Vargas. Now the Associated Press has dropped use of the term “illegal immigrants.”

Time magazine showcases undocumented immigrants on its cover

TIME Magazine is once again shining a national spotlight on Latino affairs, this time with a cover displaying 36 undocumented immigrants.

Previously, TIME highlighted a group of Arizona Latino voters — but the new issue is a bold proclamation — giving face and voice to the undocumented, while plainly stating that the issue of immigration will be top of mind for the 2012 election.

The undocumented immigrants, many of whom typically live their lives in the shadows, will be seen across the globe after TIME decided to distribute the cover for all of its worldwide editions.

“We are Americans,” the cover reads with an asterisk. “Just not legally,” it says below.

“We’re some of the nearly 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Why we’re done hiding,” the caption says.

Leading the crowd of undocumented immigrants is  Jose Antonio Vargas, a former reporter for The Washington Post, who shared a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. Vargas received national attention for a piece in the New York Times titled, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” where he “outed” himself.

In TIME’s gallery highlighting each of the immigrants, it can be seen that they hail from Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Chile and more Latin American countries but also include ones from Germany, India and other non-Latino countries.

TIME’s decision will surely be the latest flashpoint for a deeply polarizing American issue, but serves as a reminder that immigration will literally be at the forefront of the election — the same way the undocumented immigrants are proudly displayed on the cover.


  1. […] Vargas acknowledged his undocumented status in a high-profile piece in The New York Times Magazine in June 2011 but thus far has avoided deportation. He was part of a Washington Post team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre. He wrote in his Times essay that his mother sent him from the Philippines to live with grandparents in California in 1993 when he was 12. He wrote that he didn’t find out he was in the country illegally until he applied for a driver’s permit with forged documents. […]

  2. […] was a knock on the front door of the home of Erika Andiola, a prominent DREAM Act activist, who was featured on Time magazine’s cover of undocumented immigrants in June, at 9 p.m. on Thursday in Phoenix, […]

  3. […] temporary reprieves from deportation. But Vargas, who has lived in the U.S. since 1993 and appeared this year on the cover of Time magazine with other immigrants who lacked legal status, has become too old to […]

  4. […] at the Online News Association (ONA) conference in San Francisco, Jose Antonio Vargas, for many best known for being front in center for Time Magazine’s cover filled with undocumented Americ… passionately addressed the issue of diversity in newsrooms — particularly […]

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