CHCI-New York Life Public Policy Fellow
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
School: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Degree: B.A. in Sociology
Placement: The Office of Representative Joe Neguse
Policy Briefing: Suffering in Silence: How Anti-immigrant Policies and Rhetoric Affect the Mental Health of Mixed-Status Families
Daniel López was born in San Juan Ixcoy, Huehuetenango, Guatemala and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Being undocumented has taught Daniel that with a desire to learn and a strong support system, one can overcome many obstacles. His family taught him strong work ethics, compassion, resilience and the value of an education. After obtaining his Associates Degree from Grand Rapids Community College, he transferred to the University of Michigan, where he became the first in his family to graduate from college. Daniel has a unique set of experiences relating to research, art, and activism that drives his work when creating equitable and inclusive opportunities for his community. He advocates for change so that others coming after him will not have to struggle as much.
At the University of Michigan (UM), Daniel engaged in research with the Undocumented Migration Project and focused on the experiences of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who went straight into the workforce after graduating high school. He believes the narratives of this group are important to include in the immigration discussion and often not written about. He co-founded Latinidad Magazine at UM to provide a platform for the Latinx community (students, staff, and alumni) to express their identity and creativity through the arts. He also advocated in changing the UM 28 month clause in the attendance policy that was hindering undocumented transfer students in the state of Michigan from being granted in-state tuition.
As a Public Policy Fellow, Daniel hopes to build connections with other Latinx leaders and to better understand the legislative process at a federal level. Additionally, Daniel wants to better understand how he can run for office in the future and give back to his community. Daniel plans to advance education, immigration, and health policies for the Undocumented and Latinx community.