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Rutgers Law Opens Centers on Race, Rights, Immigration

By William Vogeler, Esq. on September 05, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Muslims are coming!

That's a fact and part of a new lecture series at the Center for Security, Race and Rights at Rutgers Law School. Along with a the Center for Immigration Law, Policy, and Justice, Rutgers is launching two new academic centers.

Professor Sahar Azia, an expert in the Middle East, civil rights, and race issues, says people fear what they don't know. That's why she's opening her program with a series on Islamophobia.


Aziz said there is "widespread prejudice" and "negative stereotypes" against Muslim and Arab communities. It has led to harsh immigration policies against people from Muslim-majority countries, too.

"The Center for Security, Race and Rights engages in research, education, and advocacy to counter discrimination and preserve civil rights for racial and religious minorities," she said.

Professor Rose Cuison Villazor, an expert in immigration, citizenship and race issues, will lead the new immigration center. She said the center will host programs on sanctuary this semester, and citizenship in the spring.

"Through interdisciplinary scholarship, legal and policy and initiatives and public engagement, the CILJP seeks to support the passage of progressive immigration and citizenship laws," Villazor said.

Progressive Immigration

Together, the programs will examine law and policies that disproportionately affect Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities in the United States.

Rutgers has a tradition of promoting centers focused on timely issues, including a centers on:

  • Gender and sexuality
  • Inequality and metropolitan equity
  • Government compliance and ethics
  • Corporate law and governance

"Now is an exciting time in the history of legal education at Rutgers," the deans said in a statement. "Rutgers Law is committed to scholarly distinction and engagement with the major legal issues and concerns facing our region, country, and world."

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