Cristina Rodríguez

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law


Cristina Rodríguez is the Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Her research interests include constitutional law and theory; immigration law and policy; administrative law and process; language rights and policy; and citizenship theory.

FULL BIOGRAPHY

Contact Information


Yale Law School

P.O. Box 208215

New Haven, CT 06520

Education & Curriculum Vitae


J.D., Yale Law School, 2000

M.Litt., University of Oxford, 1998

B.A., Yale University, 1995

Courses Taught


  • Administrative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Immigration Law

Cristina Rodríguez is the Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Her research interests include constitutional law and theory; immigration law and policy; administrative law and process; language rights and policy; and citizenship theory. In recent years, her work has focused on constitutional structures and institutional design. She has used immigration law and related areas as vehicles through which to explore how the allocation of power (through federalism and the separation of powers) shapes the management and resolution of legal and political conflict. Her work also has involved examination of the effects of immigration on society and culture, as well as the legal and political strategies societies adopt to absorb immigrant populations. Rodríguez joined Yale Law School in 2013 after serving for two years as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. She was on the faculty at the New York University School of Law from 2004-2012 and has been Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools. She is a non-resident fellow at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. and has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She earned her B.A. and J.D. degrees from Yale and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, where she received a Master of Letters in Modern History. Following law school, Rodríguez clerked for Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Rodríguez ’00 to Give Surbeck Inaugural Lecture on November 13

Professor Cristina Rodríguez's lecture will be titled “The President, Immigration Law, and the Politics of Constitutional Structure.”

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Will Trump’s Latest Travel Ban Pass Muster With The Supreme Court?

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is quoted in a story about President Trump’s latest travel ban.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Don’t Let Trump Hide Behind the Constitution in Ending DACA—A Commentary by Adam Cox and Cristina Rodríguez ’00

Adam Cox is the Robert A. Kindler Professor of Law at NYU and Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is the Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Yale Immigration Lawyer Doubts Congress Will Act On DACA

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 was interviewed about whether Congress will act on DACA before the program ends in March of 2018.

Friday, July 21, 2017


How a Presidential Pardon Could Backfire

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is quoted in an article about presidential pardons.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Why Donald Trump’s travel ban could meet an unexpected end

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is quoted in an article about the Supreme Court’s ruling on the travel ban.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Legal experts: Comey's testimony described serious misconduct by Trump including "abuse of power"

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is quoted in an article about former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate intelligence committee.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Trump's Flexing Of Executive Power Raises Legal Questions

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is part of a panel discussing executive power.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Fareed Zakaria/ GPS

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodriguez ’00 was a guest where she discussed the firing of FBI director James Comey.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Podcast: Exploring the debate over ‘sanctuary cities’

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 was a guest on a podcast, where she discussed the future of sanctuary cities.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


DHS memos build a wall around the US without laying a brick—A Commentary by Cristina Rodríguez ’00

Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is the Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


11 Top Constitutional Law Experts React to White House Stephen Miller’s Rejection of “Judicial Supremacy”

J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law Heather Gerken and Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00, David Golove ’93 LLM ’99 JSD, Roderick Hills ’91, Dawn Johnsen ’86, and Pamela S. Karlan ’84 were among a group of constitutional law experts who replied to a query about comments made by Stephen Miller, the President’s Senior Policy Advisor.

Friday, February 10, 2017


The Legal Fight Over Trump’s Authority

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 was interviewed about legal challenges to President Trump’s immigration order.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Trump and the Immigration Bureaucracy: Should We Expect Civil Servants to Dissent?—A Commentary by Cristina Rodríguez ’00

Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is the Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

Monday, February 6, 2017


President's International Travel Ban Blocked

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 was a guest where she discussed President Trump’s travel ban.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Law Professor Outlines Historical Use Of Presidential Executive Orders

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodriguez ’00 was interviewed about the use of presidential executive orders.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Dreamers Told Feds Where They Live. Will Trump Deport Them?

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodriguez ’00 is quoted in article about the future of those granted protected status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Friday, June 24, 2016


Dreamers' Nightmare Deferred by Supreme Court Immigration Split

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is quoted in an article about the Supreme Court’s decision on President Obama’s immigration executive action.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Podcast: Is President Obama’s immigration policy against the law?

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is interviewed about President Obama’s executive action on immigration.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Immigration Case in Supreme Court

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 and Anil Kalhan ’99 discussed President Obama’s executive action on immigration during a radio segment.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Professor Rodríguez’s YLJ Article Analyzes Immigration Executive Action

The legal issues surrounding President Obama’s executive actions were explored in-depth recently in a Yale Law Journal article written by Professors Cristina M. Rodríguez of Yale Law School and Adam B. Cox of NYU School of Law. The article is titled “The President and Immigration Law Redux.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Dreamers' Nightmare: DACA Dies If Obama Immigration Action Goes Down

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is quoted in an article about the Supreme Court’s announcement that it will hear a lawsuit from 26 states challenging President Barack Obama’s stalled 2014 executive action on illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Plan to Bar Foreign Muslims by Donald Trump Might Survive a Lawsuit

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law Cristina Rodríguez ’00 is quoted in an article about Donald Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering America.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Professors Koh and Rodríguez Sign Letter Deeming Obama Immigration Action Legal

Professors Koh and Rodríguez pen letter with other top legal scholars declaring President Obama's new immigration policy legal.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Professors Listokin, Priest, and Rodríguez Receive New Faculty Appointments

The Yale Corporation has voted to approve three new appointments to the Yale Law School faculty.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Cristina Rodríguez ’00 to Join Yale Law School Faculty as Professor of Law

Cristina Rodríguez ’00 will join the Yale Law School faculty as a professor of law on Jan. 28, 2013.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


NYU Law’s Cristina Rodriguez ’00 To Discuss Immigration at Thomas Lecture March 10

NYU Law Professor Cristina Rodriguez ’00 will deliver the 2007-2008 James A. Thomas Lecture on March 10, speaking on “Burden Sharing in an Age of Migration.”

Books and Book Chapters

IMMIGRATION  AND REFUGEE LAW & POLICY (with Stephen H. Legomsky) (Foundation Press 6th ed. 2015) (5th ed. 2009) (Supplements 2011 & 2013).

Language Rights and Migration, in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA  OF GLOBAL HUMAN MIGRATION  (Oxford University Press 2013)

Immigration and the Civil Rights Paradigm, in THE NEW BLACK: WHAT HAS CHANGED, AND WHAT HAS NOT, WITH RACE IN AMERICA (Guy-Uriel Charles & Ken Mack, eds., New Press, forthcoming 2013)

The Integrated Regime of Immigration Regulation, in WRITING IMMIGRATION: SCHOLARS AND JOURNALISTS IN DIALOGUE  (Roberto Suro & Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, eds., University of California Press 2011)

The Constitutional Status of Irregular Migrants: Testing the Boundaries of Human Rights Protection in Spain and the United States, in ARE HUMAN RIGHTS FOR MIGRANTS? (Marie Dembour & Tobias Kelley, eds., Routledge 2011) (with Ruth Rubio-Marín)

Legal Limits on Immigration Federalism, in TAKING LOCAL CONTROL: IMMIGRATION  POLICY ACTIVISM IN U.S. CITIES AND STATES (Monica Varsanyi, ed., Stanford University Press 2010) (with Muzaffar Chishti & Kimberly Nortman)

The Law of Language in the Classroom, in AFFIRMING STUDENTS’ RIGHT TO THEIR OWN LANGUAGE: BRIDGING EDUCATIONAL  POLICIES TO LANGUAGE/LANGUAGE ARTS TEACHING PRACTICES (Dolores Straker, et al. eds., Routledge 2008)

Articles & Essays

Complexity As Constraint, 115 Colum. L Rev. Sidebar 179 (2015)

The President and Immigration Law Redux, 125 Yale L.J. 104 (2015) (with Adam B. Cox)

Toward Detente in Immigration Federalism, 4 Virginia Journal of Law and Politics (forthcoming 2015)

Law and Borders, at democracyjournal.org (summer 2014)

Uniformity and Integrity in Immigration Law: Lessons from the Decisions of Justice (and Judge) Sotomayor, YALE L. J. FORUM (March 15, 2014). 

Negotiating Conflict Through Federalism: Institutional and Popular Perspectives, 123 YALE L. J. 2094 (2014) 

Immigration, Civil Rights, and the Formation of the People, 142 DAEDELUS  (2013)

The Relative Merits of Domestic and Transnational Regulation of Migration, NOMOS (forthcoming 2014)

Constraint through Delegation: The Case of Executive Control over Immigration Policy, 59 DUKE L.J. 1787 (2010) (reprinted in Immigration and Nationality Law Review)

Non-citizen Voting and the Extra-constitutional Construction of the Polity, 8 I * CON, The International Journal of Constitutional Law 30 (2010)

The President and Immigration Law, 119 YALE L. J. 458 (2009) (with Adam B. Cox)

The Significance of the Local in Immigration Regulation, 106 MICH. L. REV. 567(2008)

Guest Workers and Integration: Toward a Theory of What Immigrants and Americans Owe One Another, 2007
UNIV. OF CHI. LEGAL FORUM 219

Language Diversity in the Workplace, 100 NORTHWESTERN  UNIV. L. REV. 1689 (2006)

Language and Participation, 94 CAL. L. REV. 687 (2006)

Accommodating Linguistic Difference: Toward a Comprehensive Theory of Language Rights in the United States, 36
HARV. C.R.-C.L. L. REV. 133 (2001)

Clearing the Smoke-Filled Room: Women Jurors and the Disruption of an Old-Boys’ Network in Nineteenth- Century America, 108 YALE L.J. 1805 (1999)

Essays & Reviews

Immigration and the Civil Rights Agenda, 6 STAN. J. C.R.-C.L. 123 (2010) (symposium issue: civil rights and the Obama administration) (reprinted in THE NEW BLACK: WHAT HAS CHANGED, AND WHAT HAS NOT, WITH RACE IN AMERICA (Guy-Uriel Charles & Ken Mack, eds., New Press, forthcoming
2013))

Transnational Regulation of Migration, 110 COLUM. L. REV. SIDEBAR 1 (2010)

The Citizenship Clause, Original Meaning, and the Egalitarian Unity of the Fourteenth Amendment, 11 UNIV. PENN. J. OF CONSTITUTIONAL  LAW 1363 (2009) (symposium issue: originalism and the Reconstruction Amendments)

A Review of Peter Spiro, Beyond Citizenship: American Identity after Globalization, 103 AMERICAN J. OF
INT’L L. 180 (2009)

Discrete and Insular No More, 12 HARV. LAT. LATINO REV. 41 (2009) (symposium issue in honor of the publication of Latinos and the Law (Delgado, Perea, Stefancic, eds.))

The Citizenship Paradox in a Transnational Age, 106 MICH. L. REV. 1111 (2008)

From Litigation, Legislation, 117 YALE L.J. 1132 (2008)

Against Individualized Consideration, 83 IND. L. J. 1405(2008) (symposium issue: Latino/as at the
Epicenter of Legal Discourse)

Latinos and Immigrants, 11 HARV. LATINO L. REV. 247 (2008) (symposium issue: Latino Civic
Participation)

E Pluribus Unum: How bilingualism strengthens American democracy, DEMOCRACY: A JOURNAL OF IDEAS
(2007)

Other Writings

Policy Papers and Briefs

Delegation and Divergence: A Study of the 287(g) Program and State and Local Immigration Enforcement, Migration Policy Institute Paper (2011) (with R. Capps, M. Rosenblum, M. Chishti)

A Program in Flux: New Priorities and Implementation Challenges for 287(g), Migration Policy Institute
Paper (2010) (with M. Chishti, R. Capps, L. St. John)

Regulating Immigration at the State Level: Highlights from the Database of 2007 Immigration Legislation and
Methodology
, Migration Policy Institute Paper (2008) (with L. Laglagaron, A. Silver, S. Thanasombat)

Testing the Limits: A Framework for Assessing the Legality of State and Local Immigration Measures, Migration
Policy Institute Paper (2007) (with M. Chishti & K. Nortman)