US justices will consider deportation law for sex offenders

October 28, 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States will decide whether the government can deport people who are not U.S. citizens if they are convicted in certain states of sexually abusing a minor.

The justices said Friday they will hear an appeal from a man who pleaded no contest to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under California law. Juan Esquivel-Quintana was 20 and 21 years old when he had sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend.

California law criminalizes consensual sex with anyone under 18 if the age difference is more than three years. But Esquivel-Quintana argues that his conduct would have been legal under federal law and the laws of 43 states that are less strict.

A federal appeals court ruled that the California conviction is enough to deport him under federal immigration law.


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