Saturday April 20, 2019
Home Politics How In Texas,...

How In Texas, Two Undocumented Immigrants from Mexico became Valedictorians

Yale and the University of Texas have issued statements saying the young women's scholarships are not in jeopardy

2
//
Welcome to Texas Sign. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Martinez said her family applied for citizenship shortly after arriving in the U.S. and have been waiting since then for their application to be processed
  • Two high school valedictorians in the southern U.S. state of Texas have revealed they are undocumented immigrants from Mexico.
  • The Yale-bound student said what is often overlooked in the immigrant debate is “the fact that immigrants, undocumented or otherwise are people, too

Two high school valedictorians in the southern U.S. state of Texas have revealed they are undocumented immigrants from Mexico.

Both have received college scholarships – one to Yale, the other to the University of Texas.

Larissa Martinez came to the United States in 2010 with her mother and sister, she said, to escape from her alcoholic and abusive father. The three now live in a one-bedroom apartment in McKinley, Texas.

“I am one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows,” the teenager said in her address to her fellow graduates who did not know about her status.

The Yale-bound student said what is often overlooked in the immigrant debate is “the fact that immigrants, undocumented or otherwise are people, too…. People with dreams, aspirations, hopes and loved ones.  People like me.”

Follow NewsGram on facebook: NewsGram

Martinez also took a swipe at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump who has said if he becomes president he will build a wall between the United States and Mexico to keep out Mexicans.  He has characterized such migrants as criminals and rapists.

“America can be great again without the construction of a wall built on hatred and prejudice,” Martinez said in her address to her classmates.

Martinez said her family applied for citizenship shortly after arriving in the U.S. and have been waiting since then for their application to be processed.

Unlike Martinez, another valedictorian, this time in Austin, Texas, waited until after her speech to reveal her undocumented status.

Militia Groups Called to Texas Border to Halt Invasion of Illegal Immigrants. Image source: www.dcclothesline.com
Militia Groups Called to Texas Border to Halt Invasion of Illegal Immigrants. Image source: www.dcclothesline.com

Mayte Lara Ibarra shared the information in a tweet:  ” Valedictorian, 4.5 GPA, full tuition paid for at UT…nice legs, oh and I’m undocumented.”

Ibarra says she came to the U.S. from Mexico illegally when she was about two years old, but has Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which allows children in the U.S. illegally to request deportation deferral. DACA does not, however, provide a path to citizenship, but does allow people to work and receive Social Security cards.

She has received a lot of criticism because she included a Mexican flag in her tweet about her status.

She told The Statesman newspaper “The only reason I used that emoji was to show that I’m proud of my heritage and to show that we can do great things.”

Follow NewsGram on Twitter: @newsgram1

“The reason I posted that tweet was to show others that you can accomplish anything, regardless of the obstacles you have in front of you,” she told The Statesman.

Both students have received encouragement and criticism on social media.  Some people believe the teenagers are breaking the law and prohibiting an American student from attending college.  Others have praised the students’ hard work.

Yale and the University of Texas have issued statements saying the young women’s scholarships are not in jeopardy. (VOA)

ALSO READ:

  • AJ Krish

    The struggle faced by immigrants is hardly noticed.Overcoming all the challenges ,these students have indeed shown true determination. The stand of US government on undocumented immigrants must be changed. It was good to hear that even after all the trouble ,their scholarships are not in jeopardy.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    It was good to hear that their scholarships are safe

SHARE
  • AJ Krish

    The struggle faced by immigrants is hardly noticed.Overcoming all the challenges ,these students have indeed shown true determination. The stand of US government on undocumented immigrants must be changed. It was good to hear that even after all the trouble ,their scholarships are not in jeopardy.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    It was good to hear that their scholarships are safe

Next Story

‘Credible Threat’ Leads To Closing of Denver-Area Schools

Columbine students continued attending classes in the afternoon and left school on time, but after-school activities were canceled on the campus in Littleton, Colorado.

0
Columbine High School
School police officers look on as students leave Columbine High School, April 16, 2019, in Littleton, Colo. Following a lockdown at Columbine and other Denver area schools, authorities say they are looking for a woman suspected of making threats. VOA
Public schools in the Denver area will be closed Wednesday after authorities said a young woman who is “infatuated” with the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School made threats just days before the 20th anniversary of the attack that killed 13 people.

Authorities are looking for Sol Pais, 18, who is thought to have made undisclosed threats that prompted Columbine and more than 20 other schools outside Denver to lock their doors for nearly three hours Tuesday afternoon.

All schools in the Denver area were urged to tighten security because the threat was deemed “credible and general,” said Patricia Billinger, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI say Pais traveled to Colorado from Miami on Monday night and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition.

FILE - Unidentified young women head to a library near Columbine High School where students and faculty members were evacuated after two gunmen went on a shooting rampage in the school in the southwest Denver suburb of Littleton, April 20, 1999.
Unidentified young women head to a library near Columbine High School where students and faculty members were evacuated after two gunmen went on a shooting rampage in the school in the southwest Denver suburb of Littleton, April 20, 1999. VOA

All facilities, programs closed

Denver Public Schools said that all facilities and programs will be closed Wednesday, and there will be no afternoon activities or athletic competitions. The district said the decision to close campuses was in collaboration with other Denver metro-area school districts because of the ongoing safety concern.

On Tuesday, some schools released their students after additional security was called in and canceled evening activities or moved them inside.

“We always have heightened awareness close to high-profile anniversaries like this,” Billinger said.

Massive manhunt

Pais was last seen in the foothills west of Denver, was considered armed and extremely dangerous and should not be approached, authorities said.

“This has become a massive manhunt … and every law enforcement agency is participating and helping in this effort,” Dean Phillips, special agent in charge of the FBI in Denver, said late Tuesday night.

The FBI’s Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force issued a notice Tuesday describing Pais as “infatuated with (the) Columbine school shooting.” The alert also said police who come into contact with her should detain her and evaluate her mental health.

Sheriff’s spokesman Mike Taplin said the threats she made were general and not specific to any school.

school
On Tuesday, some schools released their students after additional security was called in and canceled evening activities or moved them inside. Pixabay

The Denver Post reported that a call to a phone number listed for Pais’ parents in Surfside, Florida, was interrupted by a man who identified himself as an FBI agent and said he was interviewing them.

The Associated Press left messages at two numbers listed for Pais’ relatives in Florida, while another number was disconnected.

The doors were locked at Columbine and more than 20 other schools in the Denver area as the sheriff’s office said it was investigating threats against schools related to an FBI investigation.

Also Read: Microsoft Rejects California Law Enforcement Agency’s Request To Install Facial Recognition in Officers’ Cars

Columbine students continued attending classes in the afternoon and left school on time, but after-school activities were canceled on the campus in Littleton, Colorado.

Two teenage gunmen attacked Columbine on April 20, 1999, killing 12 classmates and a teacher. (VOA)