California Senate appoints first undocumented immigrant to state post

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The California state Senate appointed its first ever undocumented immigrant for a state post Wednesday.

Attorney and immigrant rights activist Lizbeth Mateo, 33, of Los Angeles, was selected by the Senate Rules Committee to serve as a student aid advisor on a committee aimed at increasing college access for low-income families in the state.

"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," said Senator Kevin de León, chair of the Rules Committee. "She embodies California values and the American Dream."

Mateo was born in Mexico and came to L.A. with her parents when she was 14. After completing her undergraduate degree at Cal State Northridge, she went on to earn her law degree at Santa Clara University in 2016. She was the first in her family to earn a college degree, according to a press release from the state Senate.

"I hope to be able to draw from my own experiences as an undocumented, first generation college graduate, and from experiences of students like myself who are currently navigating or will soon navigate the higher education system," Mateo said in a statement.
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