A young female valedictorian in Austin, Texas, caused controversy when she posted a tweet which made reference to the fact that she is actually undocumented.
"Valedictorian, 4.5 GPA, full tuition paid for at UT, 13 cords/medals, nice legs, oh and I’m undocumented," Mayte Lara Ibarra wrote on Twitter on June 3
The tweet quickly went viral. Ibarra was retweeted by more than 9,400 people and received over 19,000 likes on her post in one day, in addition to a torrent of negative backlash and threats generated by her statement, KTLA reports.
One of the responses even appeared to include a person's online tip to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement line.
Ibarra had recently delivered the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem during her graduation ceremony at Crockett High School, according to NBC.
Ibarra did not mention her immigration history at the time, instead speaking of the hard work put in by her classmates. She reportedly plans to attend the University of Texas-Austin in the fall.
Texas allows undocumented students who graduated from an in-state high school to receive in-state tuition.
UT Austin Media Relations Specialist Kylie Fitzpatrick told NBC the following about Texas' law:
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. 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.
The backlash against Ibarra's statement was swift and severe, and she deleted her Twitter account not long after the tweet was made. Nonetheless, there were several sympathetic users who commended her for coming out about her immigration status and applauded her hard work during high school.