Teen Mistakenly Held in Adult Detention for Nearly a Year in O.C. is Redetained by ICE on His 18th Birthday

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The Theo Lacy Facility in Orange is seen in an undated photo. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

The Theo Lacy Facility in Orange is seen in an undated photo. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

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A teenager released from adult detention after mistakenly being determined to be an adult has been redetained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after turning 18.

The teenager’s case highlighted the controversial use of dental forensics to determine age. Last year, after Jose illegally crossed the border into California, a dental exam showed an 85% probability that he was 18.

At that point, the Office of Refugee Resettlement removed him from a youth shelter and turned him over to ICE, which held him in Orange County jails with adult immigrant detainees for nearly a year. During that time, a judge ordered him removed from the country.

When Jose’s birth certificate arrived from Guatemala last month, it showed that Jose had been 17 all along. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is required to take custody of and provide care for unaccompanied children, defined as those who have not yet turned 18.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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