An illegal alien who unfurled the flag of Mexico when she collected her degree from the University of California San Diego has triggered a firestorm of criticism for her perceived ungrateful diss.
The graduation of Indira Esparza, who moved to the United States when she was 2, was documented by the San Diego Union-Tribune
, which noted how she helped establish the Undocumented Student Services Center so students like her could talk about their struggles.
But readers fumed at the flag-waving display, with one calling it "a slap in the face to the United States."
"Rude. I can't imagine living illegally in another country, and waving an American flag in people's faces. Rude," another commenter complained, the Union-Tribune reports.
The paper's outreach editor, Andrew Kleske, said he logged 15 letters to the editor, some of which he posted on Facebook, and most of which said Esparza should have appeared more grateful to this country than the one her parents left, the paper reports.
"What I see is a lawbreaker who took advantage of resources and services originally intended for U.S. citizens and legal residents to obtain something she is not morally entitled to, and whose career ambition now appears to be to assist more like-minded lawbreakers," reader Harry Clifford wrote, the paper reports.
"Worse yet, she insults us by wrapping herself with the flag of the nation that her parents supposedly fled, instead of the flag of the great nation that embraced her and made her education possible."
Another reader, Deborah Bush, wrote: "Kudos to Indira Esparza for her commitment to helping others struggling with the challenges she faced. It’s a shame she didn’t proudly unfurl the flag of the United States, which afforded her this opportunity."
"This woman’s action is a slap in the face to all the hard working legal citizens in this country that paid for her to get the education she’s so proud of," reader Bob Buck complained. "Please do this country a favor and go back to where came from and take all the members of your Undocumented Student (aka illegal immigrants) Services Center with you."
Esparza told the Union-Tribune there are always going to be people critical of immigrants.
"No matter how hard you work or how qualified you are there are people... [who feel] that we’re taking the place of a student that was born here," Esparza told the newspaper.
The 22-year-old grad, who got a scholarship to help support her studies, received a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in education studies. The Union-Tribune story also noted said she suffered financial insecurity and had longtime fears of her relatives being deported.
In an online poll, a majority said Esparza should have waved the American flag, both the Mexican and American flags, or neither, according to Fox News Latino.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.