A high school valedictorian in Austin, Texas, took to Twitter over the weekend to celebrate about her outstanding high school academic achievements, as one does, but ended up being harassed by online users who apparently couldn’t deal with her success.
“Valedictorian, 4.5GPA, full tuition paid for at UT, 13 cords/medals, nice legs, oh and I’m undocumented,” Mayte Lara Ibarra, an honor student at Crockett High School, post on her graduation day, along with a Mexican flag emoji.
The last part of her tweet infuriated some Twitter users to no end, prompting them to harass the teen over her immigration status. While some called the young graduate a criminal, others threatened to have her deported and accused her of stealing a legal citizen’s scholarship spot at the University of Texas in Austin.
The bullying got so intense that Ibarra had to deactivate her social media account. By that time, her tweet received about 20,000 likes and more than 9,400 retweets.
Interestingly, a large number of haters demanding her deportation also turned out to be Donald Trump supporters. What are the chances, right?
Mayte Lara should be deported immediately for her flaunting her law breaking. We are a nation of laws. immigrate legally #BuildThatWall— Nick (@TheNick_463) June 7, 2016
Someone even appeared to send a tip to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
@maytelara29 I did it legally, nobody should get a short cut. pic.twitter.com/UZC5ipnqNY— Cool Arrow (@cuervo_jones) June 5, 2016
"In accordance with state law, Texas universities — including the University of Texas schools —have for decades granted two-semester tuition waivers to valedictorians of Texas public high schools, without regard to their residency status," said Kylie Fitzpatrick, a media relations specialist at UT Austin. "State law also does not distinguish between documented and undocumented graduates of Texas high schools in admissions and financial aid decisions. University policies reflect that law."
Along with the backlash, Ibarra also gained a steady following of sympathizers who stood up in support of her. They congratulated the teen on her accomplishments, which are truthfully pretty impressive, and went on to praise her for being a role model.
I stand with #maytelara. Don't let the hate bring you down.— Victor Morales (@Vacmorales) June 9, 2016
Even a Trump supporter joined their ranks.
The thing is, federal law does not prohibit states from providing in-state tuition to undocumented students. In addition to that, the University of Texas at Austin facilitates undocumented students through their Longhorn Dreamers Project.