Mayte Lara, real name Val Mayte Ibarra, recently graduated from Crockett High School with a full scholarship, a 4.5 GPA, and 13 cords + medals to show for it. Incredibly, she achieved all of this as an illegal immigrant. But despite all of those achievements, Lara chose to tell the entire world about her success as an undocumented citizen on Twitter.
And now a lot of people are very upset with her, mostly because of the fact that she’s getting a scholarship, despite not being a citizen.
Update–6/9/2016: A second high school graduate and valedictorian, Larissa Martinez, also announced that she had received a full-ride scholarship despite being an illegal immigrant.
Who Is Mayte Lara?
Mayte Lara is a self-admitted illegal immigrant from Mexico who attended Crockett High School in Austin. She graduated at the top of her class as Valedictorian. According to USNews, Crockett High School has an math proficiency of 11% and an English proficiency of 32%.
You can watch her Valedictorian speech below.
One commenter on The Daily Mail boldly claimed that to be a valedictorian at Crockett HS, all you had to do was “show up and do your homework.” Frankly, that opinion is a crock of sh*t. Being the valedictorian of your high school is an extremely laudable achievement. Yes, attending a private school where everyone is trying to make it to Harvard or Michigan means that you’ll have to put in much more time and effort to stand out, but it’s not very easy to pull yourself up and out of a “slower” school if everyone doesn’t care.
After graduating from high school, she posted a photo on Twitter celebrating her success. That tweet read “Valedictorian, 4.5 GPA, full tuition paid for at UT, 13 cords/medals, nice legs, oh and I’m undocumented.”
You can see the full Tweet in the embedded photo below.
Almost immediately after Mayte posted the photo, she began to receive backlash. Most of the people who verbally disproved of Mayte took issue with the fact that she was an undocumented student who was getting four years of college paid for by the US government. The even larger problem is that she admitted this in a time where American students can have anywhere up to $100K in debt to pay for their college education.
What Will Happen?
Mayte is far from the first illegal immigrant/alien to have secured acceptance at a school, and she won’t be the last. No less than 17 states, including Texas, have passed legislation that allows undocumented immigrants the ability to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.
The problem is that she’s not trying to pay in-state tuition, although she might now be forced to. So here’s an explanation from KXAN:
Undocumented students are protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). In 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the U.S. as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years. In Texas, House Bill 1403—which passed in 2001 and is also known as the DREAM Act—allows certain immigrants to receive in-state tuition if they meet certain requirements.
Last year, the DREAM Act came under scrutiny at the Capitol when some state lawmakers were pushing for the repeal of the law.
Personally, I can see both sides of the argument–but I have to admit that I don’t believe she should get a full ride. That being said, I’m hoping that Carlos Slim or some other wealthy benefactor will offer her a full-ride scholarship. Her classmates are even trying to get her onto the Ellen show, which would probably result in some financial support.
Reaction To The News
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Mayte’s situation is polarizing. Here is one of the more juicy quotes:
Her whole education was provided by the American taxpayer as would be the tuition she speaks of too. This is what they love to do people, STEAL whatever they can and then flaunt it in our faces. She has no clue on just how stupid she was to post this info but I do hope with all my heart that it comes back to bite her on the ass and she ends up at a Mexican university in Mexico itself! See how far that will carry you missy. Deportation is the right answer, finally. TRUMP 2016