Former Homeland Security Secretary and current President of the University of California Janet Napolitano announced on Wednesday that she is devoting $5 million in aid to students living in the country illegally. In addition, Napolitano also pledged $10 million recruiting and training graduate students.
“Let me be clear,” asserted Napolitano. “UC welcomes all students who qualify academically, whether they are documented or undocumented. Consider this a down payment — one more piece of evidence of our commitment to all Californians.”
The money, Napolitano says, will be used to support the students with various resources, including financial aid, trained advisers and student service centers.
Napolitano also says that the school will do everything in its power to encourage more enrollments by minority students and appeal to low income families who can’t afford the costs of a college education.
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“Our doors are open,” said Napolitano. “I’m not sure our doors are open wide enough, and we’re going to do more of that while I am president.”
“You don’t have the money to go to college, it’s too expensive, that’s not a reason not to go,” said Napolitano while discussing her plan for free tuition for families who make under $80,000 a year.
Some have been skeptical about the idea of Napolitano being president of University of California based on her qualifications, but she maintains that it was a good choice.
“I believe my selection was, in good measure, a result of my experience running large, complex institutions, such as the third-largest department of the federal government and the state government of Arizona,” said Napolitano in her prepared remarks. “I made clear from the start that my learning curve at UC would be a steep one. But I have faced steep learning curves before.”
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In any case, immigration rights groups are sure to be happy about the money Napolitano is devoting to schooling illegal immigrants, but with such a heated debate over illegal immigration in this country, those opposed will probably have a huge problem with her decision.