Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

California Appoints First Undocumented Immigrant to Statewide Post

California Appoints First Undocumented Immigrant to Statewide Post

An attorney and immigrant rights activist living in the USA illegally has been named to a statewide appointment in the nation's most populous state, California's Senate leader announced Wednesday.

For Senate President pro tempore Kevin de León, the decision is one that directly challenges the Trump Administration.

"While Donald Trump fixates on walls, California will continue to concentrate on opportunities", de León said in a press release.

In the same week that President Donald Trump headed to California to look at prototypes of the border wall that he eventually wants to use to keep out immigrants, the West Coast state made a strong statement about where it stands when it comes to the the undocumented community. Mateo will be responsible for advising the committee to help low-income and marginalized people attend college.

California has appointed an attorney who came to the USA illegally as a teenager to a state advisory board. As a student at California State University, Northridge, she publicly advocated with other undocumented immigrants for the passage of the Dream Act. She also played a key role in helping a group of young people now known as the "Dream 9" return to the USA after being deported to Mexico.

This week Mateo, residing in California without legal authorization, got an appointment to a statewide post.

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

But on Twitter, there was a strong backlash to her tweet thanking de Leon for her appointment, with many questioning how someone in the country illegally can serve on a state committee. But, in a 2016 Facebook post, when she graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law, Mateo seemed to wish she was back in Mexico: "E$3 verything is dedicated to Oaxaca, Mexico! to that land that I miss so much".

"California thrives because we welcome immigrants and innovators from across the globe", Gov.

In a federal lawsuit filed last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions retaliated with a lawsuit against California over its "sanctuary state" policies, CNN reported.

"I have been organizing for years, and a lot of my friends have become frustrated and lost hope", Mateo who was 25 at the time told The New York Times.

Senate President pro tempore Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), who is now running for US Senate against Sen. In 2015, Mateo applied for legal status under the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, better known as DACA, but has twice been denied because she briefly traveled to Mexico in 2013 as part of the "Bring Them Home" campaign to see how border agents would react when they tried to reenter the United States.

Mateo has always been an immigration activist.

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