“I’m Expected to get Married for Papers”: Latino/a Undocumented Young Adults and their Navigations of Intimate Relationships

Humberto Ortiz : Sociology

Mentor: Professor Irene Bloemraad

Humberto’s project will examine how Latino/a undocumented migrant youth negotiate migrant ‚Äúillegality‚Äù in their everyday lives through relationships of love, kinship, and companionship. While a growing literature has examined how this population navigates “public” contexts of higher education and civic engagement, no scholarship has analyzed how these youth negotiate their undocumented status in their “private”, personal lives. In order to investigate how undocumented young adults develop unique attitudes, beliefs, and experiences with respect to friendships, dating, and marriage, I will interview 20 self-identified Latina/o undocumented young adults from the Bay Area and Los Angeles to answer the following question: How does migrant “(il)legal” status become a social-political power dynamic that must be negotiated by undocumented young adults in their personal relationships?