Lizbeth Mateo, the illegal alien who was appointed to state office in California on Wednesday, was arrested in 2013 for trying to cross back into the United States after “self-deporting” to Mexico.
As Breitbart News reported five years ago, Mateo was one of the “Dream 9,” a group of illegal aliens brought into the country as children who staged a protest by leaving the U.S. and attempting to gain re-entry — also illegally.
The nine — six of whom had already left the U.S. for Mexico — were detained at the U.S. border and held at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona after trying to cross the border in academic caps and gowns.
The “Dream 9” — five women and four men — became a cause célèbre among amnesty activists. Thanks in part to the attention they generated, and the pressure their supporters put on the Obama administration, immigration officials let them return to the country.
Mateo and the others applied for asylum, claiming “credible fear of persecution or torture in their birth country,” the Los Angeles Times reported — though, as ABC News reported, Mateo had returned to her home town in Oaxaca and posed with relatives for photographs.
“Just being here for a week with my family and seeing how happy they are and how excited they are, I think it’s worth it,” the supposed asylum-seeker told ABC.
So Mateo, who calls herself a “Dreamer” — one of those brought to the U.S. illegally “through no fault of their own,” as President Barack Obama said — chose to repeat her parents’ illegal crossing.
Instead of being punished and deported, she has been rewarded with a legal education, membership in the California State Bar, a career as an attorney, and elevation to state office.
Mateo is the first “unprotected” illegal alien appointed to statewide office in California.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
Clarification: the State Senate indicated that Lizbeth Mateo was the first illegal alien appointed to state office, but in fact she is only the first without any legal protected status. “The Senate announced that the appointment was a first for the state, but that wasn’t true,” the Sacramento Bee noted. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed a DACA recipient to a state office in 2016. The opening paragraph has been corrected to reflect that.