Iliana G. Perez Graduate Student, Claremont Graduate University
Iliana G. Perez was born in Hidalgo, Mexico and immigrated alongside her mother, father and younger brother to the U.S. at the age of eight. Iliana grew up in Turlock, CA and navigated the educational system as an undocumented student for 18 years until she became a DACA recipient in 2013. Iliana’s parents remain undocumented with no immigration remedy due to unjust immigration policies. Iliana attended CSU-Fresno on a full-ride scholarship through the Smittcamp Family Honor’s Program, where she graduated from in 2009 with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Economics. Iliana recently finished a M.A. in Economics from Claremont Graduate University and is completing a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Evaluation and Reform. Her research focuses on the school-to-work transitions of immigrant students, the effects of deportation on the lives of young adults, and economics of immigration. Iliana has shared her story and presented her work (most notably, E4FC’s Life After College Guide for Undocumented Students) to various audiences across the country via keynotes and research presentations at professional conferences, organizations and college campuses. Her personal story, as well as her work and advocacy efforts have been featured in several media outlets including the LA Times, Business Insider, CNN, CNNE, The Huffington Post, Univision, La Opinion, Radio Bilingue and various other journals, blogs and newspapers around the world.