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Valedictorian Reveals She Is a Undocumented Immigrant During Graduation Speech


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Jun 12, 2016

 During her acceptance speech of becoming a valedictorian and receiving her high school diploma, Larissa Martinez revealed she was an undocumented immigrant (as stated below) and shocked the crowd during the graduation procession. 

"I am one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows of the United States."

Larissa continued with her speech and expressed, this was an opportunity for her to tell the truth. 

“I decided to stand before you today and reveal these unexpected realities, because this might be my only chance to convey the truth to all of you that undocumented immigrants are people, too,” she elaborated.

Larissa Martinez is a high school graduate at McKinney Boyd High School in McKinney, Texas, who expressed prior to her graduation speech to classmates about immigrants and their struggles. She confided in her classmates that immigrants are people too with dreams, aspirations, hopes, loved ones; and also want to make America great. Larissa revealed, how she left Mexico with her mother to live in Texas because of her abusive father. She also conveyed, about going to school and helping her mother take care of her younger sister. Larissa expressed her love for school and learning. 

In sharing her truth, Larissa Martinez revealed the purpose of it was to showcase and display how immigrants can break down the walls of stereotype against them, and to inspire others to do so. 

"By sharing my story, I hope to convince all of you that if I was able to break every stereotype based on what I’m classified as — Mexican, female, undocumented, first generation, low-income — then so can you."

During the fall semester, Larissa will be attending Yale University and will try to become a U.S. citizen. She expressed it won't be her first time trying and how the immigration system is flawed, as she waited for seven years for her application for citizenship to be processed. 

Since Larissa Martinez's revelation, it has sparked concerns and issues about immigration.

Check out the footage below of Larissa's full speech.  


Video Courtesy of: The Dallas Morning News