Sex Offender Registry

20-Year-Old Deported for Sex with 16-Year-Old, Which Isn't Even Illegal in 43 States

The Supreme Court is set to rule on the case.


Alexander Raths

When Juan Esquivel-Quintana was 20-years-old, he had a girlfriend who was 16. They had sex. Because this was in California, and because California has one of the highest ages of consent in America—18—and because he was more than three years older than his girlfriend, this was a crime.

Esquivel-Quintana pleaded no contest and went to jail for 90 days, in 2009. Afterward he was allowed to go on with his life, until he moved to Michigan to be closer to his family.

Then the feds began deportation proceedings. He was sent back to Mexico in 2013.

The facts are these: Esquivel-Quintana came to America from Mexico with his family at age 12. He was a lawful permanent resident. And the relationship he had is not even illegal in 43 other states—including Michigan.

But immigration officials said that since he'd been convicted of "sexual abuse of a minor," off he had to go.

Yesterday this case made it to the Supreme Court. As WDET reports:

The dispute is a growing part of the national legal landscape as federal lawmakers add more types of criminal offenses to the list of what makes immigrants deportable, says Andrew Moore, associate professor at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

"The challenge is that for some of the grounds that our federal immigration law identifies as being grounds for being deportable are very, very broad," he says. "For example there's one whole category called the 'crime involving moral turpitude.' Now, of course, nobody at the state level is ever convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude so the challenge is trying to fit whether the state offense fits into this broad category."

Allon Kedem, assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, argued that Esquivel-Quintana was unworthy of remaining in this country because his crime was so great. "When there's a meaningful age difference, such that the perpetrator and victim are not in the same age group, as a result of that, the victim may not be able to advocate for themselves."

Somehow the girl is a "victim" in seven states, and a perfectly capable young woman in the rest. Hmm. As Jeffrey Fisher, Esquivel-Quintana's lawyer, argued, "You have an extraordinary case here, where the government is trying to deport somebody for committing something that isn't even a crime under federal [law] and the vast majority of states."

How about we don't label sex as "abuse" in the first place, when there is zero evidence of force, trickery, or coercion? And then, how about we don't throw people out of America for even more esoteric reasons, including relationships that are common and consensual?

The Court is expected to rule on the case sometime before June.

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  1. Laboratories of democracy, except when we don’t want them.

    1. Bingo.

      Reason: “States should totally be allowed to make their own laws regarding marijuana”. Makes perfect sense. Agreed

      Reason: “We need to have federally mandated consent laws, you guys. Like, this is not woke, at all. Ok.” Extremely dumb notion. Why the Supreme Court has any authority in this case is beyond me, but, hell fake libertarians love the federal government when it is mandating woke sex policy.

      1. Can’t you argue age of consent is appropriate for the federal government because Commerce Clause, like everything else?

        When it wasn’t even illegal in the damn state he was in but because another state had a different law and he was still punished, then you have a problem

        1. So if he shoots someone in self-defense in a state with duty to retreat, all he has to do is move to a state with stand your ground laws and it’s all good?

    2. Lenore, please remove the demand for a federal age of consent law from your post.

      1. And you think that the Supreme Court overturning the age of consent in a state does not set a federal age of consent? Kind of just like when the Supreme Court overturned California’s medical marijuana program in Raich v Ashcroft that didn’t set federal policy about the illegality of marijuana?

        You are a simple man, aren’t you?

        1. Seriously, is this performance art?

          1. Is that your argument whenever you cannot argue a point?

    3. Yes, but it doesn’t mean we don’t get to complain about how the individual laboratories conduct their experiments.

    4. California is free to implement laws within the bounds of the Constitution, but that doesn’t mean they’re somehow above criticism. And deportation is a federal process.

      Why am I not shocked that out of all of the cases to draw out people defending California exercising their state’s rights, this is the one?

  2. I blame Trump.

    1. Shouldn’t the headline be about the Supreme Court case, instead of a deportation in 2013?

      I don’t recall Reason discussing this case before. I wonder why they’re writing about it now.

      1. Who is paying for the appeals, all the way to the Supreme Court?
        Sounds like the dude was working at a restaurant. Not the kind of money it takes to make the appeals he has had, which are very expensive.
        What frosts my hide is that sometimes attorneys do this stuff “pro-bono” but turn around and sue the government, because it is such a matter if “civil rights”, and the taxpayer ends up paying their ridiculously exorbitant fees.
        Dick the Butcher in Shakespeare’s Henry VI was right.

  3. More puritanism

    1. America is a Puritan nation, is it not?

      1. I don’t think there is any question about that. Even the secularist are Puritans. They may even be the most hardcore.

        1. The hell there isn’t.

          The US may have its puritanical elements but that differs not at all from every other country, most of which have far more puritanical regimes than the US.

          The saving grace of the US is states rights. Witness the recent wave of marijuana law changes across a huge swathe of the country and compare that against the manifestly puritanical attitudes to the subject in other Western democracies.

          That there is vehement disagreement with that, and that people express it, is a sign of another non-puritanical attribute: freedom of conscience and expression.

  4. “The facts are these: Esquivel-Quintana came to America from Mexico with his family at age 12. He was a lawful permanent resident. And the relationship he had is not even illegal in 43 other states?including Michigan.”

    So was he living in one of these 43 states–including Michigan? No, he was living in California…

    Lenore’s argument is tremendously weak. Why not argue based on international consent laws? Why not argue based on his homeland of Mexico, and how throughout most of that country it’s 12?

    Should we use this line of argumentation as the basis of arguments about rape too? I mean, in Mexico it’s not rape if she wasn’t a virgin… or if you agree to marry her…

    Don’t get me wrong, California ought to change their law, but that’s the perview of Californians, not the SCOTUS, and the law in other states (or nations) has no bearing on California law.

    1. But California isn’t deporting him the Feds are.

    2. California’s age of consent laws are not being challenged, and they would not be addressed by SCOTUS. The suit is over conflicting interpretations of immigration law regarding sexual abuse of a minor.

      1. And who defines what is ‘sexual abuse of a minor’? I’ll give you a second.

    3. This…I like her shit normally but Reason goes full fucking derp with illegals.

      1. illegals/legal residents*

  5. Trump was right – they are sending over rapists!

  6. Woohoo, I live in one of those 43 states. I’m on my way to cruise the high school right now!

  7. Where’s Shikha on this? I want to see her dance, dance, dance while she explains how Milo is a monstrous pedophile, but this guy shouldn’t be deported.

    1. Yes, there does seem to be a double standard at Reason about this.

      1. The way the left fawned over Roman Polanski, they had some balls saying anything about Milo.

  8. “Somehow the girl is a “victim” in seven states, and a perfectly capable young woman in the rest. Hmm.”

    Somehow we want the Trump administration to respect state laws on recreational marijuana but not on other things?

    If there’s a problem here, it’s with the age of consent and statutory rape laws in California–not that we’re deporting people convicted of statutory rape.

    If you want to lose people’s support for lowering the age of consent, make it all about immigration. That’ll do the trick.

    1. No one’s asking the administration to overturn California’s laws.

      1. No, they’re asking the courts to do that

        1. Read the linked report. It’s not that complex of a case.

          1. Any time there is an issue that involves a ruling by the 9th Circus Court of Schlemiels, it gets complicated.
            I know I wouldn’t want to go to the Supremes, hoping they will uphold one of that court’s decisions.
            Most overturned appeals court, eva!

        2. No they’re not. Actually read what the court case is about. Also, even if it is legal, that doesn’t mean you can’t criticize the state and federal actions here.

      2. “No one’s asking the administration to overturn California’s laws.”

        You don’t see a contradiction between the Attorney General respecting California’s marijuana laws and the Secretary of Homeland Security ignoring California’s age of consent?

        You want the Attorney General to respect California’s recreational marijuana laws?

        And you want the Secretary of Homeland Security to ignore California’s laws on the age of consent?

        “Somehow the girl is a “victim” in seven states, and a perfectly capable young woman in the rest. Hmm.”

        How many states is recreational marijuana illegal in–if that’s the criteria?

        Some people think the government should defer to the states on these questions.

        Other people pick and choose–well, I like recreational marijuana, they’ll say, but I don’t like deporting people.

        They like federalism in regards to marijuana! But if California’s age of consent means people get deported, somehow they don’t like federalism anymore?

        1. This isn’t about federalism. California’s age of consent laws don’t require the federal government to universally deport any immigrant who violates them.

    2. This can happen with any number of crimes, not just sex stuff. Open carry is illegal in California, and if you’re convicted of it you can be deported because it’s a firearms charge. Yet open carry is perfectly legal in other states. Same with controlled substance, domestic abuse, and child abuse convictions. All of these things can get you deported, but have conflicting definitions of what constitutes an offense in various states.

      1. And the Feds are happy to enforce state law as their own whenever its convenient.

  9. Have sex with your girlfriend like a thug, get deported like a thug.

  10. The problem is that California’s age of consent is too high. It sucks he is getting deported but it sucks worse that he is a convicted rapist.

    1. That’s what I said!

    2. The law is the law, I guess.

  11. If I were running things (which Gods forbid!) I would be telling the agency attempting to deport this guy; “Hey, he was in California, where the act he committed IS a crime. You didn’t deport him then. He move to a state where the act he committed is NOT a crime. While he lives in that State you have no grounds to deport him. And if he stays there, you never will. You had your chance, and muffed it. Get. Over. It.”

    1. Have you considered the possibility that this Mexican pedophile could be a member of IS?

  12. Was it illegal in the State he was in? Ok then, off he goes. Bye.

  13. I’m sorry. I have no sympathy. He was 12 years old when he crossed the border– old enough and free range enough to demand that his family not cross into the U.S. He knew what he was doing, he’s a 12 year old free range criminal, and he should be deported for his original naughty sin.

    1. It says he was a “lawful permanent resident,” which can’t happen if someone enters the country illegally. I’m not sure what the policies are if someone entered the country legally and overstayed their visa. I know they can stay if they find a U.S. citizen to marry, but not sure if there are other circumstances in which they can regain legal status after letting a visa lapse. In any case, it’s possible that he was never illegal. There are legal ways to immigrate.

  14. How about we don’t label sex as “abuse” in the first place, when there is zero evidence of force, trickery, or coercion? And then, how about we don’t throw people out of America for even more esoteric reasons, including relationships that are common and consensual?

    Yes, wouldn’t that be nice, but the country is currently populated by too high a percentage of d*ckheads of various persuasions for that to happen. I’m sure sense and decency will return eventually, but it’s pretty clearly going a wait.

    1. “How about we don’t label sex as “abuse” in the first place, when there is zero evidence of force, trickery, or coercion?”

      That, to me, is possible the most offensive part of the article.

      A ten-year old girl is found to have performed fellatio on the next door neighbor, Mr Jones, and when asked if she was forced or tricked to do it, she answers, “Oh, no. I like Mr Jones. I loved it!”

      This is OK with you? It obviously is with Reason, just as perhaps it was with that notorious “pedophile”, Milo.

      In a rational world–the kind of world Reason advocates–all crime would be an abuse, either against my property or against my person. Reason is obviously suggesting that such an act performed with such a girl should not be a crime and therefore cannot be described as abuse. Or if they agree that it would be a crime, how can it not therefore be abuse? If we can describe something as common as burglary to be an abuse of property rights, how can Mr Jones not be guilty of abuse with this girl?

      We have ages of consent because we recognize that until a certain age children are not generally mature enough to understand the implications of their actions. It has nothing to do with giving simple consent rather it refers to having attained an age where consent can be maturely given.

      1. This is OK with you?

        More to the point, why is it any of your goddamned business?

        1. If the girl was your daughter, would it be your business?
          Because that’s usually who goes to the prosecutors with these kinds of cases – the parents. How else do the authorities become aware of the situation?
          I researched this, in California, because my son was, for a short time, dating a girl more than three years his junior, and a minor.
          The relationship didn’t last long and I don’t think there was any sex, but parents, especially of daughters, worry about such things.

        2. More to the point, why is it any of your goddamned business?

          Because I don’t want to live in a society where 40 year-old men get to have their dicks sucked by 10 year-old girls with impunity.

          You obviously don’t mind that kind of thing if the girl says she likes doing it, somehow conflating it with a consensual relationship between sexually mature individuals. In that case, you’d be a supporter of allowing pedophiles to go about their business.

      2. tl;dr

  15. Same shit happens with DUI laws which vary from state to state.

  16. I’m surprised California hasn’t raised the age of consent to whatever age is OK to buy alcohol or tobacco.

  17. In New York and Texas the age of consent is 17.

    So California is not what I would consider an outlier is making this particular relationship illegal.

    Hell the age of consent in Florida is 18. So, the first three states I checked outlawed this relationship. I call bullshit on the 43 claim.

    1. If only there were some way to find out. I guess we’ll never know.

    2. Wikipedia has a relevant article, “Ages of consent in the United States”

      Sixteen is enough in thirty-one states. In at least four and maybe seven others, the parties in this case were close enough in age. (In some the cutoff is four years’ difference, and the story here doesn’t give the exact difference; in principle it could be anything between three years plus a day and five years minus a day.)

      So that’s 35 to 38 states that I found with two clicks. It would be nice to know how the other five fit in.

  18. Good grief, in California and most other states, sixteen is old enough to MARRY. So, will they start charging 20 year olds who marry sixteen year olds with serious crimes, and deport them if they are not citizens? Something is crazy here.

    Add to the insanity is the fact that in gummit skelwz they teach the students, starting at about first grade, that all manner of perversions and wierdnesses of a sexual nature are normal, to be experimented with, etc. THEN they get surprised and all chastity-bound when one of them actually LIVES OUT what they are taught from very young.

    Can’t have it both ways. This is a lot like the campus “rape” case where the school took it up, the woman had no problem, she was willing, on repeated occasions, to lay with him.. she filed no complaint, even told them “I was fine with it he did nothing wrong”… they still expelled him and made his life a mess.

    I wonder the level of purity lived out by the school dweebs who prosecute this stuff. Bet NONE of them have clean hands.

    1. Pile on to the insanity that a girl, OF ANY AGE, can walk into a Planned Abortionhood clinic and get an abortion, without any questions asked as to how old the father is, or without the parents even being made aware this medical procedure was performed on their child.

  19. Why the fuck should i care?

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