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SCOTUS: Removal of an immigrant for “sexual abuse of a minor”

The facts of the case sound like an episode of “Law and Order SVU.” In 2000, Juan Esquivel-Quintana’s parents lawfully brought him to the United States and settled in Sacramento, California. When he was 20 years old, Esquivel-Quintana had consensual sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend. He later pleaded no contest to violating California Penal Code § 261.5(c), which criminalizes sex with a person “under the age of 18 years” when the age difference between the parties is more than three years. Esquivel-Quintana was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years’ probation. After his release from jail, he moved from California to Michigan, a state in which the conduct underlying his criminal conviction would not have been a crime.

An “aggravated felony” conviction generally requires mandatory removal of an immigrant from the United States and renders the immigrant ineligible for most forms of relief from removal. 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) defines an “aggravated felony” to include the “sexual abuse of a minor.” Claiming that Esquivel-Quintana’s conviction constituted an “aggravated felony,” the U.S. government initiated removal proceedings in Michigan. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. DPH

    So common, so similar to many here…really messed up…Euro has no problem, we have tightened due to freaked out parents and government reacting to ill educated public as they are now. It just gets worse and worse, can’t even think Straight. Sad sit-stat. Thank you to our new Pres 17′. Sad. No force or coercion. Wow.

    At least only 5 yrs for the minors that are convicted on the new Tier bill, if it passes. Keep writing those letters and phone calls. It may get better…Educate.

  2. New Person

    This is an interesting fact:


    Esquivel-Quintana contends that because there is no “readily apparent” uniform definition of “sexual abuse of a minor,” the court must compare the elements of the California crime against “[t]he prevailing view in the modern codes.” Such a comparison, he argues, reveals that “federal law, the Model Penal Code, and the laws of 43 states consider the least of the acts criminalized under Cal. Penal Code § 261.5(c) – consensual sex between a 21-year-old and someone almost 18 – to be entirely lawful. Six of the seven remaining states deem it not sufficiently serious to be treated as ‘sexual abuse.’” California is the exception.

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