- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 9, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Now. Right now. Now is the time for all American citizens to come to the aid of America’s citizenry.

It has been incredibly easy to live with your head in the sand regarding immigration. Hopefully, a girl who recently graduated from Crockett High School in Austin, Texas, has you shaking the sand from your eyes, nostrils and ears to get the full breadth of the immigration problem at hand.

The girl says her name is Mayte Lara Ibarra, and she lit up social media after tweeting this following her June 3 graduation: “Valedictorian, 4.5 GPA, full tuition paid for at UT [University of Texas], 13cords/medals, nice legs, oh and I’m undocumented.”

A “4.5 GPA,” fantastic. “Nice legs,” irrelevant. “Undocumented,” say what?

Under the twitter handle @maytelara29, she put it out there that she is undocumented and illegal yet worthy of receiving a free ride at a public secondary school, let alone a public university. And we’re talking about Crockett High, as in Davy Crockett, the white frontiersman who died alongside slaves and other blacks at the Alamo.

So let’s see how little Miss Mayte came to claim American generosity. She says she has lived in the States for most of her life, and for 15 years in Austin. She also told the Austin American-Statesman in an exclusive interview that she had to overcome stereotypes of “people like me” and that “we have all the odds stacked against us.”

By “us” we can assume she means Mexicans since she used a Mexican flag emoji as an ID tag in her tweet. She said she never intended for her tweet to mock anyone.

Moreover, she seems to have lied about her status. See, Miss Mayte cannot claim to be completely undocumented. The Obama administration has documented her.

Yet, here’s a rub: How do we know that she is who she says she is? Well, we’re supposed to believe her, her family and Uncle Sam. That’s right, Uncle Sam and the immigration policy called Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA).

Started by the Obama administration in 2012, DACA allows people from other countries to cull some paperwork, ship it and an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and, you’re “documented” and no longer “illegal.” And there’s one other thing: A fee of $465, which is far, far less than what the coyotes affix to you and/or your family’s hides to smuggle them across the border.

The majority of eligible DACA recipients are from Mexico and Central America, although Caribbean islanders and Asians participate as well.

We may never know how many people can and will get a pass as “undocumented” like Mayte Lara Ibarra. One such girl, though, caught the attention of first lady Michelle Obama and her Mexican counterpart, Margarita Zavala, wife of then-president Felipe Calderon, when the two were visiting a grade school in Silver Spring, Maryland. During the Q&A session, a second-grader claimed her mom was an illegal immigrant, that “Barack Obama’s taking everybody away that doesn’t has papers,” and her mom “doesn’t have [papers].” Mrs. Obama assured the little girl, “We have to fix that.”

That exchange occurred in 2010. DACA began in 2012. What a coincidence.

The election yakety-yak will eventually turn to issues. Will you be paying attention?

Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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