(SOURCE) SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — University of California President Janet Napolitano said Wednesday she is devoting $5 million to provide special counseling and financial aid for students living in the U.S. illegally, a move aimed at disarming critics who worried she would be hostile to the small but vocal student population.
The former Homeland Security Secretary announced the initiative in her first public address since she became head of the 10-campus university system a month ago — an evening appearance in San Francisco organized by the Commonwealth Club. She also pledged $10 million for recruiting and training graduate students and research fellows.
“Let me be clear. UC welcomes all students who qualify academically, whether they are documented or undocumented,” she said in prepared remarks released by her office before the speech. “Consider this a down payment — one more piece of evidence of our commitment to all Californians.”
Napolitano said the money would be used “to support these students with resources like trained advisers, student service centers and financial aid,” but did not immediately offer details about its source or possible conditions on its use.