Director, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
Professor, Chicana/o Studies and Urban Planning
He labors to bring us the truth about immigration.
While still an undergrad, Abel Valenzuela was rocked by an unsettling revelation: If you worked for minimum wage, more than full time and year-round — you’d still be at or below the U.S. poverty line. Strictly by the numbers, the American Dream didn’t add up for his immigrant parents or their community. Valenzuela embraced rigorous academic research, determined to measure the actual facts underlying the controversial subject of immigration. In his early academic research, his data refuted the myth of U.S.-born workers being displaced by immigrants. At UCLA, Valenzuela continues to advance scholarship on immigration as the director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.