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State Conviction Triggers Deportation, Court Rules

(CN) - A longtime legal permanent resident can be deported based on his conviction in California court of giving marijuana to a minor older than 14, the 9th circuit ruled.

Mexico native Adrian Guerrero-Silva has lived in the United States since he was 2 years old.

In 2000, he was convicted under a California Health and Safety Code that bars anyone from "furnishing, administering or giving" marijuana to a minor older than 14, or even offering to give them marijuana.

"We conclude that the state statute at issue here fits categorically within the federal offense," Judge Jay Bybee wrote for the three-judge panel.

The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a similar case questioning how state convictions are interpreted under federal law for immigration purposes. In Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, the justices must decide if a legal permanent resident can be deported for two minor drug convictions, both in Texas state court.

The 9th Circuit dismissed Guerrero-Silva's appeal, and the Supreme Court is expected to rule in Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder this spring or early summer.

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