Open for Enrollment! LBR STD M166B: Research on Immigration Rights, Labor, and Higher Education

By UCLA Labor Studies Program | December 13, 2021 

This Winter Quarter 2022, the UCLA Labor Studies Interdepartmental Program offers LBR STD M166B: Research on Immigration Rights, Labor, and Higher Education.

The course is an expansion of research conducted by students in course M166A* involving oral histories, research on immigration, labor, and higher education and evaluation of legislation and legal issues impacting undocumented students. 

Students in the course will learn from labor studies instructor, Iliana Perez, who also serves as the Director of Research and Entrepreneurship with Immigrants Rising, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that empowers undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals through personal, institutional and policy transformation.

We invite you to learn about Perez’s work and the course below.

From Dream Resource Center, UCLA Labor Center

What does your work focus on?
My work focuses on serving the undocumented community. At Immigrant Rising, I specifically develop programming related to income generation through entrepreneurship, which anyone, regardless of immigration status, is available to do. This year I am overseeing the implementation of a $5.4M grant from the state of California to provide training, funding and technical assistance to immigrant entrepreneurs across the state. My research has focused on access to higher education for undocumented students, immigrant entrepreneurship and economics of immigration.

Why did you choose to teach this course? 
This course is a continuation of M166A, in which we will be doing a deeper dive into the themes discussed in M166A. Throughout a combination of key readings, lectures, guest speakers and field research, students will be able to develop an understanding of the socio-economic and political context that has impacted immigrant students, workers, and their community at large. A special emphasis will be given to understanding research on the economics of immigration, immigrant labor demand and supply, and income generation, regardless of immigration status.

As a DACA recipient, it is my pleasure to teach a class that provides a deeper understanding of immigration issues, which are incredibly complex and nuanced.

What are you most excited about for this course?
I’m particularly excited to introduce students to the design thinking process to gather qualitative data on the needs of the immigrant community and identify tangible solutions amidst the covid-19 pandemic.

Topics covered: 

  • Push and Pull Factors of Immigration
  • Undocumented Status: Inhibitor of (Legal) Employability
  • Immigrant Labor Markets
  • Experiences of Immigrant Workers
  • Income Generation, Regardless of Immigration Status
  • Immigrant Entrepreneurship
  • Undocumented Students in Higher Education
  • The Promise of Higher Education

Enrollment for LBR STD M166B (cross-listed as Asian American Studies M166B and Chicana/o and Central American Studies M156B) is OPEN NOW. The class will be held on Thursdays between 3 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. on campus.

* The course has a pre-requisite course (M166A), however, students that did not enroll in part A of the class can send an email to Professor Perez ( with a statement explaining their general interest in labor/immigration and interest in the class to potentially receive an enrollment code.