Thursday, August 16, 2007

Juan Estrada-Espinoza in Federal Immigration Jail Since May 2005

Juan Estrada-Espinoza arrived here when he was 12. At age 18 he was able to get his green card. At twenty he met a 16 year old girl who became his girlfriend and had his child. Now that he is 26 and she is 22. Yet he is being charged with having sex with a minor. The headlines describe him as a sex offender, even though later they explain that the couple lived together for three years. He has been in federal immigration jail since May 2005, after being charged with the crime. He pleaded guilty and is now facing deportation.

How many other Estrada-Espinozas are there? His length of incarceration is extremely unfair, considering the circumstances and that he had no criminal record. Where are the advocates for him?

The couple broke up when he was incarcerated.

Legal immigrant faces deportation for having sex with 16-year-old
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Thursday, August 16, 2007

(08-16) 17:36 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A legal immigrant in Northern California who was 20 when he began a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl faces deportation to Mexico under a ruling today that was described as unjust by a majority of the federal appeals court panel that issued it....

Estrada's lawyer, Saad Ahmad, said he would ask the full court to order a new hearing before a larger panel and was confident the ruling would be overturned.

"This is a responsible man who never committed any crime in his life'' other than this one, Ahmad said. "Our argument will be, look at the underlying facts (to determine whether there was abuse). Look at their ages, look at any evidence of coercion, look at their mental competence.''

He said Estrada, 26, who lived in Jackson (Amador County) with his girlfriend and their son when he was prosecuted in 2004, has been in a federal immigration jail in Arizona since May 2005, under a law that requires convicted felons to be kept in custody after a deportation order.

Estrada entered the United States in 1992 at age 12 and became a legal permanent resident six years later. He said his girlfriend and her friends told him she was 18 when they met in June 2001, and he did not learn her true age until six months later. The court said she was either 15 or 16 when they met, but Ahmad said the case record showed that she was 16.

...They started living together at his parents' home, then found a place of their own, where Estrada supported her and their newborn son by working as many as 60 hours a week at grocery stores, Ahmad said. He said the couple broke up after Estrada was prosecuted, and the child lives with Estrada's parents.

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