Valedictorian criticized for tweeting about scholarship, undocumented status

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There were over 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. (WLS)

There were over 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2014, according to the Pew Research Center.

And according to a tweet - a central Texas teen is one of them. The Crockett High School student is in the middle of a controversy after posting a tweet saying she has scholarships to the University of Texas, and she's undocumented.

She deleted the tweet after people became angry about an illegal immigrant getting a free scholarship to UT, KVUE-TV reports. She says this is all a misunderstanding.

Just hours after walking across the graduation stage and giving her valedictorian speech, Mayte Lara Ibarra sent a tweet out, saying quote "Valedictorian, 4.5 GPA, full tuition paid for at UT, 13 cords/medals, nice legs, oh and I'm undocumented."

"It's really upsetting to see how many people are so against her and how far she's come already," said Melanie Romero, Ibarra's friend.

Ibarra said she is not undocumented, and she never wanted to make a mockery of undocumented students.

Edlisa Lopez with University Leadership Initiative at UT-Austin, a program that works with undocumented students, said she worries about the consequences this tweet could have.

"I do hope that she is not lying about her status because being undocumented is not easy, it's not something that you can play with," Lopez said.

Undocumented students are protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program.

Texas lawmakers passed the Dream Act, which allows certain immigrants to receive in-state tuition if they meet requirements. As for Ibarra, she deleted her post and Twitter account. Romero says it's not the way she wanted to start her college career.

"She just wants it to stop, she wants all of the talking bad, all of the sharing, all of the posting to stop," Romero said.

School officials at UT released a statement saying, "For decades the school officials have granted two-semester tuition waivers to valedictorians of Texas public high schools, without regard to their residency

Related Topics:
educationimmigrationscholarshipu.s. & worldTexas

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