Illegal Immigrant Appointed to CalSOAP

Lizbeth Mateo, an attorney and immigrant rights activist, will serve on a California board helping disadvantaged students.


WaPo (“In a first, an undocumented immigrant is appointed to a statewide post in California“):

A 33-year-old woman has become the first undocumented immigrant named to a statewide post in California.

Lizbeth Mateo, an attorney and immigrant rights activist, was appointed to an advisory committee that seeks to improve access to college for low-income California students, according to the office of state senate president pro tem Kevin de Leon.

The committee’s formal name is a bureaucratic mouthful — the California Student Opportunity and Access Program Project Grant Advisory Committee, or “Cal-SOAP,” for short — but its mission is one that will be familiar to Mateo: to find ways to help students from underserved communities go to college.

Mateo is a poster girl for the DREAMer case:

Mateo was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, and was brought to Los Angeles by her parents at age 14. She didn’t learn English until high school, but became the first person in her family to graduate from college, according to de Leon’s office.

Mateo went on to earn a law degree from Santa Clara University in 2016, passed the California State Bar exam last year and now has a private practice in Wilmington, Calif., a suburb of Long Beach.

Still, this creates a bizarre spectacle. She’s in the country illegally. That’s a known fact. Under our immigration laws, she should be processed for deportation. Indeed, under the current administration, I wouldn’t be shocked to see ICE agents waiting to arrest her when she showed up for work.

Mateo’s case is an obvious example of why the law should be changed. But it’s truly bizarre to both keep the laws on the books and then openly flout them at such a high level.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Modulo Myself says:

    The police basically have their own arbitrary speed limit allowing drivers to go 5-15 miles over the limit on an interstate without being busted, and everybody manages to understand this.

    To civilized people, it’s bizarre that anyone would want to deport somebody who was brought into this country as a kid and has developed a life here. If fascist ICE goes after her I hope they pay severely.




    6



    3
  2. MBunge says:

    If you drive 15 miles over the speed limit, you might get away with it.

    If you drive 15 miles over the speed limit with “(Expletive) The Police” scrawled in neon green on the side of your car, you are going to be arrested 100% of the time. And there’s nothing fascist about it.

    I can’t understand Mr. Joyner calling this a “bizarre spectacle.” If you don’t believe in the rule of law, this is exactly the sort of thing you should expect. James Clapper committing perjury says “Hi!”

    Mike




    4



    7
  3. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:
    You support a president guilty of money-laundering, tax evasion, corruption, obstruction and conspiracy against the United States. STFU. You have nothing to say on the subject of crime.




    12



    3
  4. Jay L. Gischer says:

    I agree that it’s bizarre. I also note that it seems to follow the course of action laid out in Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience when one encounters an unjust law.




    8



    0
  5. Kathy says:

    Xenophobia, racism, homophobia, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and so on, are all variations on the pseudo scientific notion that people who are different have cooties.




    5



    0
  6. JohnMcC says:

    Well, good for California, Sen Deleon and the state Senate. The qualities that young lady has demonstrated show why migration has made and continues to make this a better country.




    3



    2
  7. Franklin says:

    @Modulo Myself: Well, the counterargument is that if you do get busted for going 5 over, you have absolutely no case to make in front of a judge. You clearly broke the law.

    We need the laws changed. Otherwise it’s just at the whim of the ICE under the direction of the current Administration (which may or may not be fascist at any given moment).




    2



    0
  8. Kathy says:

    @Franklin:

    We need the laws changed.

    Absolutely.

    But passing a fair, just immigration reform law in America seems harder than finding dark matter, determining a field unified theory, proving super symmetry, or turning base metals into gold.




    5



    0
  9. Barry says:

    @MBunge: “I can’t understand Mr. Joyner calling this a “bizarre spectacle.” If you don’t believe in the rule of law, this is exactly the sort of thing you should expect. James Clapper committing perjury says “Hi!””

    The Emoluments Clause says ‘hi!’.




    4



    0
  10. Tyrell says:

    Part of the current immigration law is that it is against the law to help immigrants who are here illegally. I wonder how California is getting around that?
    There immigrant organizations in this country who oppose any amnesty or other help for illegal immigrants.




    1



    1
  11. @Tyrell:

    Part of the current immigration law is that it is against the law to help immigrants who are here illegally.

    Care to elaborate on that?

    I know that this was part of the Alabama law, but unless I am forgetting something, is not part of the current federal statutes. Care to provide some specific info?




    0



    0
  12. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: when were those convictions again? or, is it just that anything you do not like is wrong and you make up lies to support spurious arguments?




    0



    1
  13. Tyrell says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I first heard this on some videos of an organization of legal immigrants addressing the LA City board about the sanctuary city and some other issues. The lady gave the exact statute number of the federal law.
    I also found this on the site “Fair”
    “The law against hiring or harboring illegal aliens”




    0



    2
  14. @Tyrell: None of that is especially helpful.




    1



    0
  15. Matt says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: That’s Tyrell in a nutshell…




    1



    0