Fernanda Lopez and Jonathan Halvorson started going out after sharing a journalism class as freshmen at San Jose State University. Things were going great—so great, in fact, that Lopez decided to let Halvorson in on her big secret: She’s an undocumented immigrant.
“I never actually said the words, ‘I’m undocumented,’” Lopez said. “I told him I couldn’t get a driver’s license, I couldn’t really get financial aid, I can’t get a job, those kinds of things—and eventually, it was out. (Read more…)“
Lopez’s immigration status didn’t faze Halvorson, a US citizen; two years later, the couple is still going strong. On Saturday, Lopez shared her “coming out” story in a talk titled “Undocumented Love” at the University of California-Berkeley’s sixth-annual Aspire to Rise conference, where some 400 undocumented students, family members, and advocates—some from as far away as Humboldt County, four hours north—gathered to learn about paying for college, negotiating the Obama administration’s deferred-action program, and, yes, dating while undocumented.