Larissa Martinez is a graduate and the valedictorian of her class at McKinney Boyd High School in McKinney, Texas. But what most of the students at her school might not have known is that she’s an immigrant who arrived in the United States illegally. Larissa shared that fact with her McKinney classmates, teachers, and administration during her valedictorian speech last night.
Larissa’s speech comes just one day after all the attention was on Mayte Lara, a Texas high school graduate admitted on Twitter that she was an illegal immigrant who had earned a full scholarship to the University of Texas-Austin.
Who Is Larissa Martinez?
Larissa Martinez is an 18-year-old graduate of McKinney Boyd High School who was offered a full-ride scholarship to Yale next year. You better believe she’s taking it. She told WFAA that she’s hoping to become a pre-med student. But it wasn’t always a 4.95 GPA and AP classes for Larissa. Larissa, along with her mother and younger sister, crossed the border illegally to escape from her abusive and alcoholic father seven years ago.
“The family left Mexico City in 2010. Deyanira says she left an abusive and alcoholic husband. Both her girls were young at the time she arrived in the states. They arrived on a tourist visa and came over by plane.
They put in an application for citizenship almost seven years ago and are still waiting for it to be processed [source].”
Ever since she crossed the border, Larissa says that she’s been waiting for her citizenship application to go through. “We are here without documentation because the US immigration system is broken and forces many families to live in fear.”
She lives in a one-bedroom apartment with her mother and sister in McKinney, TX.
As the valedictorian of her school, Larissa spoke at her class’s graduation, where she admitted to everyone that she was an undocumented alien. You can watch her speech below:
In her speech, she explains her belief why the eleven million illegal immigrants live in fear. She also takes the time to address Donald Trump‘s plan to “build a wall,” claiming it’s a plan based on “hate and prejudice.”
She told local news WFAA that the speech wasn’t something she just made up–surprising considering the media’s immediate coverage after Mayte’s confession. Instead, the well-written speech took only six hours to piece together and was actually given last week.
What’s The Difference Between Larissa and Mayte?
There is definitely less negativity been pushed towards Larissa than Mayte. Maybe it’s the way that Larissa revealed her secret. Maybe it’s the fact that her immigration status is in limbo because of the government, not because she hasn’t filed them. Or maybe it’s the fact that she’s going to a private institution (Yale) vs. UT-Austin.
But it’d be hard to argue that Larissa’s response hasn’t been more positive.