Immigration OP-ED Piece Sydney Talbot

Sydney Talbot


English 10 – Pd. 1

27 September 2016

Accomplished Undocumented Immigrants

On June 3rd 2016, Mayte Lara Ibarra graduated at the top of her class and received a scholarship to the University of Texas in Austin. When she revealed her plans about going to UT, she shared her citizenship status on her Twitter account. However, her news didn’t sit well with many families of people who went to college with her, and others who have a strong opinion on deportation.

mayte-lara-ibarra(Photo left: The tweet sent out by Mayte Lara Ibarra on June 3rd 2016. Photo Credit: Mayte Lara Ibarra’s Twitter account.)

Ms. Lara tweeted “Valedictorian, 4.5 GPA, full tuition paid for at UT, 13 cords/medals, nice legs, oh and I’m undocumented.” This statement caused a lot of Americans to voice their opinion about whether she should be deported. A miniscule amount of the comments on her tweet were congratulating and saying that they were proud of her dedication. However, most of the others were telling her that she should be deported and that she didn’t deserve to go to a college despite being the valedictorian of her high school.

Mayte Lara Ibarra worked hard and therefore should be allowed to go to a college that reflects her dedication in high school. Her illegal status should not affect whether she succeeds in going to school. As Jose Antonio Vargas, a prize-winning journalist, said “Being undocumented is part of her identity, as is being a Latina.” In 2011, Mr.Vargas revealed that he was undocumented as well. As somebody who has had experience in this situation, he understands the dedication and hard work it takes to make something of yourself while almost everyone is against you.

People who are opposed to Ms. Ibarra going to college, feel that U.S tax dollars funding colleges should be used only by U.S citizens. Three percent of the federal tax dollars go towards education (Schoen, Here’s where your federal income tax dollars go), and 13 percent of the state tax goes towards higher education, about 145 billion dollars (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities). This argument claims people not paying taxes are getting by on other people’s money. While this is true, colleges such as Yale accept any high school graduate whether or not they are an American citizen.

When Ms. Lara tweeted her news, the majority of the comments she got back were telling her that she stole somebody’s spot in a her future college. Hillary Shay Davis, a mother of a high school student that graduated with Lara Mayte had responded to her tweet. Mrs. Davis posted “I have never thought about deporting a child who graduated from a U.S. high school and fought against the odds to be successful. Until this moment, something else that I have NEVER thought I would support is Trump…” While Mrs. Davis recognizes the valedictorian’s hard work, she declares that Mayte Ibarra should be deported.

Anybody who has faced one difficult task after another and come out triumphant, deserves their outcome no matter what. Anybody who has never given up, even in times they knew they can’t finish, have proven that they can succeed. Anybody who has worked hard enough   to get where they want to be has earned their chance of reaching their goal. Jose Vargas proclaimed “I convinced myself that if I worked enough, if I achieved enough, I would be rewarded with citizenship. I felt I could earn it.” Mr. Vargas felt the same way when he was 16 and living undocumented in America.



Works Cited

Miller, Michael E. “‘Oh and I’m undocumented’: Tex. valedictorian’s tweet draws deportation threats.” The Washington Post. Web. 10 June 2016. Accessed 3 Oct. 2016.

Rogers, Katie. “2 Valedictorians in Texas Declare Undocumented Status, and Outrage Ensues.” The NY Times. Web. 10 June 2016. Accessed 3 Oct. 2016.

Schoen, John W. “Here’s Where Your Federal Income Tax Dollars Go.” NBC News. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.

Vargas, Jose Antonio. “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” The NY Times. Web. 22 June 2011.Accessed 3 Oct. 2016.


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