Immigration activist, journalist Jose Antonio Vargas released after detention

BY Colleen Shalby  July 15, 2014 at 12:17 PM EDT

Journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas was detained at the McAllen Airport in Texas on Tuesday after trying to fly out of the border city.

Vargas was released Tuesday evening. In a statement on Define American’s Facebook page, Vargas said, “I’ve been released by Border Patrol. I want to thank everyone who stands by me and the undocumented immigrants of south Texas and across the country.”

Vargas was brought to the United States when he was 12 years old, and learned that he was living in the U.S. illegally at age 16.

In 2011, he outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in a New York Times Magazine essay. Since then, he’s remained a staunch activist for immigration rights and in 2014, released the documentary “Documented.”

In a statement released Tuesday, immigration activist group United We Dream said, “We stand in solidarity with Jose Antonio and demand for his immediate release, but we must remember that there are thousands of people along the border that live with this same fear every day.”

PBS NewsHour spoke with Vargas in 2012 following President Barack Obama’s announcement regarding the country’s immigration policy.