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Rose Cuison Villazor

Professor of Law


LL.M., Columbia University Law School 2006

J.D., cum laude, American University Washington College of Law 2000

B.A. Government, University of Texas, Austin 1996


Professor Rose Cuison Villazor is Professor of Law and Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall Research Scholar at the University of California, Davis, School of Law. (During the Fall 2015 semester, Professor Villazor is visiting at Columbia Law School. She can be reached there at

Professor Villazor teaches, researchers and writes in the areas of immigration and citizenship law, property law, Asian Americans and the law, equal protection law and critical race theory.  Her current writing projects include researching the history of “non-citizen national status” and its contemporary implications on citizenship; the immigration status of guest workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and whether they should be granted a path to citizenship; and the federal regulation of marriage in Germany post-World War II.

Her published law review articles include, “The Undocumented Closet,” in the North Carolina Law Review (2013), “The Other Loving: Uncovering the Federal Regulation of Interracial Marriages,” in the New York University Law Review (2011), “Rediscovering Oyama v. California: At the Intersection of Property, Race and Citizenship,” in the Washington University Law Review (2010), and "Blood Quantum Land Laws: The Race versus Political Identity Dilemma," in the California Law Review (2008).   She has also been published in the Southern California Law Review, University of California at Davis Law Review, Southern Methodist University Law Review, Wayne State Law Review and other journals.  In the spring of 2014, Professor Villazor served as a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for the Study of Law and Society.  In the fall of 2015, she will be a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School.

She is co-editor with Gabriel “Jack” Chin of a forthcoming book, Legislating a New America, which focuses on the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Immigration Act and will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.  She is also co-editor of a forthcoming book, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the Law, with Neil Gotanda and Robert Chang, which will be published by New York University Press in 2016.  In 2012, she co-edited an anthology with Kevin Maillard, “Loving v. Virginia in a Post-Racial World: Rethinking Race, Sex, and Marriage,” which was published by Cambridge University Press.

Professor Villazor received the 2011 Derrick A. Bell Award, which is given by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Minority Section to a junior faculty member who, through activism, mentoring, teaching and scholarship, has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system, or social justice. 

Professor Villazor obtained an LL.M from Columbia Law School in 2006 and a J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law in 2000.  While in law school, she served as Notes and Comment Editor of the American University Law Review.  After graduating from law school, she clerked for Associate Judge Stephen H. Glickman on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.  She then received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest from 2001 to 2004.   She served as a Human Rights Fellow at Columbia Law School from 2004 until 2006 where she focused on the domestic application of international human rights.  While pursuing her LL.M at Columbia, she was selected as a LatCrit Student Scholar.

Prior to teaching at UC Davis School of Law, Professor Villazor taught at Columbia Law School, Hofstra University School of Law, and Southern Methodist University (SMU) Dedman School of Law.

Subject Areas

Immigration Law And Policy, Critical Race Theory, Civil Rights, Asian Americans And The Law, Property

Selected Career Highlights

  • Professor of Law, Hofstra University School of Law
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia University Law School
  • Assistant Professor of Law, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
  • Recipient of the Derrick Bell Award from the Association of American Law Schools
  • Equal Justice Works Fellow/Staff Attorney at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, NY, NY
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Stephen H. Glickman of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Washington, DC

Selected Publications

The Other Loving: Uncovering the Federal Government’s Racial Regulation of Marriages, 86 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1361 (2011).

Rediscovering Oyama v. California: At the Intersection of Property, Race, and Citizenship, 87 Wash. U. L. Rev. 979 (2010).

Reading Between the (Blood) Lines, 83 S. Cal. L. Rev. 473 (2010) (book review).

“Sanctuary Cities” and Local Citizenship, 37 Fordham Urban L. J. 573 (2010) (invited article).

Sanctuary Policies & Immigration Federalism: A Dialectic Analysis, 55 Wayne L. Rev. 1683 (2009) (with Pratheepan Gulasekaram) (invited article).

Blood Quantum Land Laws and the Race Versus Political Identity Dilemma, 96 Cal. L. Rev. 801 (2008).

What is a “Sanctuary”?, 61 SMU L. Rev. 133 (2008).

Community Lawyering: An Approach to Addressing Inequalities in Access to Health Care for Poor, Of Color, and Immigrant Communities, 8 N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol’y 35 (2004-2005).

Loving v. Virginia in a “Post-Racial” World: Rethinking Race, Sex and Marriage (Cambridge University Press 2012) (with Kevin Maillard).

Racially Inadmissible Wives, in Loving v. Virginia in a “Post-Racial” World: Rethinking Race, Sex and Marriage (Cambridge University Press 2012).

Teaching Property Law and What It Means to Be “Human” , 3 Cal. L. Rev. Circuit 117 (2012).

Remembering Keith Aoki, ___ U.C. Davis L. Rev. ____ (forthcoming 2012).

Law & Memory: What Asian American Jurisprudence Teaches Us About Identity and Citizenship, ___ Asian Pac. Am. L. J. ____ (forthcoming 2012).

Testing the ‘Model Minority Myth’”: A Case of Weak Empiricism, 101 Nw. Univ. L. Rev. Colloquy 101 (2007) (with Robert Chang).

Language Rights and Loss of Judicial Remedy: The Impact of Alexander v. Sandoval on Language Minorities in Awakening from the Dream: Civil Rights Under Siege and the New Struggle for Equal Justice , 135 (Denise Morgan, Rachel Godsil & Joy Moses, eds., 2005).

Service Activities

Board Member, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Asian American Law Journal

Member, Civil Rights Committee, Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area

Former Board Member, Human Rights Institute, Dallas, Texas