For First Time, Undocumented Immigrant Appointed to a Statewide Post in California

by | March 16, 2018

By Taryn Luna And Billy Kobin

The Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday appointed the first undocumented resident to a statewide post, according to Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León's office.

Lizbeth Mateo, a 33-year-old attorney and immigrant rights activist, will serve on the California Student Opportunity and Access Program Project Grant Advisory Committee. The committee advises the California Student Aid Commission on efforts to increase college access for California students from low-income or underserved communities.

"While Donald Trump fixates on walls, California will continue to concentrate on opportunities," de León said in a news release. "Ms. Mateo is a courageous, determined and intelligent young woman who at great personal risk has dedicated herself to fight for those seeking their rightful place in this country."

In a statement, Mateo said she welcomed the opportunity. "While undocumented students have become more visible in our state, they remain underrepresented in places where decisions that affect them are being made," she said.

According to de León's office, Mateo graduated from Santa Clara University law School in 2016 and passed the California bar last year.

She was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and came to the United States with her parents when she was 14, according to de León's office.

(c)2018 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)