Researcher who centers immigrant families, education, and the experiences of undocumented immigrants.


Daniel Millán is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. Daniel earned a Ph.D. in Sociology with an emphasis in Chicana/o Latina/o Studies at the University of California, Irvine and a B.A. in Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His work includes analyzing the experiences of Latina/o children of immigrants, undocumented students in higher education, and Latinx 1.5th generation immigrants.

Daniel’s current project builds on his previous work with undocumented young adults to explore how Latinx 1.5th generation immigrants make ends meet in California during emerging and middle adulthood. Latinx 1.5th generation immigrants can hold varied legal statuses, encounter educational exclusion, and have limited occupational choices. In turn, they can experience economic precarity, live in poverty, and have fewer social safety nets. However, they can receive DACA or adjust their legal status and benefit from public and political support which promote upward mobility. These possibly divergent trajectories motivated asking how Latinx 1.5th generation immigrants develop strategies to make ends meet and how federal, state, and local contexts shape their strategies. This research has been supported by a UCLA Latinx Studies Seed Grant.

Daniel is a founding member of the Undocumented Student Equity Project and has been actively involved in immigrant organizing for over a decade. Through this work, he has analyzed how undocumented students hold divergent perspectives about their legal status with implications for their navigational strategies. He has also collaborated with colleagues to explore the extent to which undocumented young adults experience deportability and the role of educational institutions in mediating the negative consequences of immigration laws and policies.

Daniel’s work includes analyzing how the household composition of Latina/o families shapes the academic experiences of Latina/o children of immigrants. He considers the consequences of children who live with one or two parents and extended relatives on their academic performance. He draws upon frameworks that center the role of families as a key ecological component in the lives of children of immigrants.