Valedictorian's Tweet Causes an Uproar

Texas student encounters anger online over her 'undocumented' boast
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2016 5:03 AM CDT
Updated Jun 9, 2016 7:12 AM CDT
Valedictorian's Tweet Causes an Uproar
A screen grab of Mayte Lara Ibarra at graduation.   (Crockett High School)

A high school senior in Austin, Texas, had good reason to do a little playful boasting: "Valedictorian, 4.5GPA, full tuition paid for at UT, 13 cords/medals, nice legs," tweeted Mayte Lara Ibarra on Friday, the day she graduated from Crockett High School. But it was one final phrase in her tweet that's caused a backlash and prompted her to delete her Twitter and Facebook accounts: "oh and I'm undocumented." Amid the congratulations from well-wishers about her scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin and other accomplishments came a storm of angry tweets about her undocumented status, reports KXAN. "After we deport you, perhaps you can return in a way that doesn't make you a criminal," tweeted one user. The teen's tweet had racked up some 30,000 retweets before she shuttered the account.

Some people on Facebook even posted to the CVS Pharmacy page wondering why the company employed her, reports the San Antonio Express-News. "Are you aware that you have an illegal alien working for you and bragging on Twitter about being undocumented!" wrote one woman. As NBC News notes, Texas is one of 17 states that allows undocumented high school graduates to qualify for in-state tuition at its colleges, and UT Austin says her status is irrelevant to the school. Texas law "does not distinguish between documented and undocumented graduates of Texas high schools in admissions and financial aid decisions," says a rep. Meanwhile, Ibarra is getting plenty of support, too. "You are an inspiration," tweeted a user. "Your journey at The University of Texas hasn't started yet & you're already changing the world." (In Pennsylvania, a star high school student turned out to be an imposter.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.