The Center files briefs addressing important issues regarding the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. Such cases have included:
- Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder -- Supreme Court of the United States -- This case addressed whether immigration courts can treat second or subsequent misdemeanor convictions as recidivist felonies despite a state prosecutor's choice to decline felony charges and the fact that the individual was not actually convicted as a recidivist. The Center filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioner arguing that circuit court decisions allowing such treatment improperly interfere with the basic exercise of prosecutorial discretion, undermine state interests in the proper and equitable administration of criminal justice, and can lead to a violation of the right to a jury trial. The Center previously had filed an amicus brief in support of the petition for writ of certiorari and the Supreme Court granted certiorari on December 14, 2009. These amicus briefs were filed in partnership with the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. The case was argued on March 31, 2010. On June 14, 2010, in a unanimous opinion, the Court sided with the Center. The Court rested its decision in part on Justice Department charging policy, a subject first and most extensively discussed in the case in the Center's brief.
- United States v. State of Arizona, et al. -- United States District Court for the District of Arizona and United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit -- In this case, the Center filed amicus briefs in the district court and in the Ninth Circuit in support of the United States in its lawsuit against the State of Arizona that challenges the constitutionality of the state's newly-enacted anti-immigration statute. The Center's briefs argued that the Arizona anti-immigration law threatens public safety by undermining law enforcement efforts to maintain positive relationships and open lines of communication with the communities they serve. These amicus briefs were filed in partnership with the law firm Friedman, Kaplan, Seiler & Adelman LLP. On July 28, 2010, the district court sided with the Center and enjoined the most controversial aspects of the legislation. On April 11, 2011, the Ninth Circuit also sided with the Center and affirmed the district court.