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 the former Secretary of Homeland Security and Arizona governor would be hostile to the small but vocal student population.
Napolitano announced the initiative in San Francisco during her first public address since she became head of the 10-campus university system a month ago.
"Let me be clear. UC welcomes all students who qualify academically, whether they are documented or undocumented," she told an audience of several hundred people. "Consider this a down payment — one more piece of evidence of our commitment to all Californians."