Undocumented Valedictorian Under Fire
A Texas high school valedictorian has come under fire after she announced she’s “undocumented” while flexing her accomplishments on Twitter.
17-year-old Mayte Lara of Crockett High School in Austin tweeted, “Valedictorian, 4.5GPA, full tuition paid for at UT, 13 cords/medals, nice legs, oh and I’m undocumented.”
Within minutes, Mayte’s tweet went viral and she was getting dragged on Twitter with a barrage of negative comments calling for her to leave the country. Others blasted the University of Texas for giving her a full ride.
@maytelara29 tuition paid by 🇺🇸 taxpayers. But, keep waving the Mexican flag in our faces. Stay classy, illegal. pic.twitter.com/7YXORjP0mj
— American So Woke 🇺🇸 (@AmericanSoWoke) June 6, 2016
All of the tweets weren’t negative.
Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro publicly supported Mayte.
.@MayteLara29 Congratulations on all of your success. No need to apologize for your words. Keep doing good things!
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) June 9, 2016
Mayte even inspired others to flex their achievements and undocumented status:
The reason I posted that tweet was to show others that you can accomplish anything, regardless of the obstacles you have in front of you. It was a common trend on twitter to highlight your success through a tweet like that, and I saw many other students from across the country doing the same and sharing the things they’d overcome, so I thought I’d share mine.
When the backlash became overwhelming, Mayte deactivated her Twitter page.
After seeing all the harassment going around, I thought it was best to just deactivate my twitter, in attempts to ignore the harmful comments. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to twitter, I’ve realized that social media is filled with so many mean people, who always have something to say. But I just want everyone to understand that my tweet wasn’t made to mock anyone. I just wanted to show that no matter what barriers you have in front of you, you can still succeed. And I do pay taxes, have a DACA which allows me to work and study here, and I have a social security number.
Here’s what Mayte Lara wants you to know:
Also, a lot of people think that because I used a Mexican flag emoji, I’m not grateful for the opportunities this country has given me. I’m extremely grateful. The only reason I used that emoji was to show that I’m proud of my heritage, and to show that we can do great things. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love this country and the doors it’s opened up for me.