Posted: Jul 16, 2014 11:37 AM
Updated: Jul 16, 2014 12:10 PM
WESLACO - An immigration advocate detained at McAllen-Miller International Airport Tuesday said the incident was not a publicity stunt.
Border Patrol officials released Jose Antonio Vargas a few hours after his detention. Vargas was trying to board a flight to California.
Vargas is a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and has been living in the United States illegally since he was a child.
He was asked on CNN how it was possible that he didn't know he would get extra scrutiny at the border airport.
"People have been asking me if this is some sort of stunt. Is it a stunt to get on a plane to leave, to try to get out of South Texas?" Vargas said.
"I had to get out one of two ways - somebody driving me, or I fly out. Either driving or flying out I was going to be checked either through a checkpoint or through TSA," he said.
"My lawyers advised me that I should actually just try to fly out the same way I flew in. That's the risk I had to take," Vargas said.
Officials said they let Vargas go because he'd never been arrested.