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Texas Valedictorian, Scholarship Recipient Under Fire for Tweeting She's Undocumented

A young valedictorian from Texas has stirred controversy for tweeting that she is undocumented and attending the University of Texas.
Tweet from @maytelara29, which now appears deactivated.
Tweet from @maytelara29, which now appears deactivated.deactivated Twitter account @maytelara29

A young valedictorian from Texas has stirred controversy after she tweeted that she will be attending the University of Texas-Austin with a full scholarship and that she is undocumented.

Mayte Lara Ibarra, a graduate of Crockett High School in Austin, Texas, tweeted photos of herself after graduation and mentioned her 4.5 GPA, her 13 cords and medals and her immigration status.

Tweet from @maytelara29, which now appears deactivated.deactivated Twitter account @maytelara29

More than 9,400 retweets and almost 20,000 likes later, Ibarra deactivated her Twitter account due to the negative backlash and threats she received for her viral tweet.

One tweet included a person's apparent tip to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's anonymous tip line.

During Crockett High’s recent graduation ceremony on June 3, Ibarra introduced the Pledge of Allegiance as well as the National Anthem.

During her speech as class valedictorian, Ibarra spoke of the hard work her class put in and what their future might hold, but she didn’t mention her immigration history.

Texas is one of 17 states that allows undocumented students who graduated from an in-state high school or earned a GED to receive in-state tuition.

"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," Kylie Fitzpatrick, a media relations specialist at UT Austin said in a statement. "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."

UT-Austin offers services to undocumented students through the Longhorn Dreamers Project.

While the backlash has been severe, sympathetic twitter users have congratulated Ibarra for coming out with their immigration status, and commended their hard work in high school.

KXAN contributed to the reporting of this article.

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