Boston University Prof Sondra Crosby: Dentists Should Refuse to Help ICE Determine Migrants’ Ages

Boston University Professor Sondra Crosby
Boston University

Sondra Crosby, a professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine, argues that dentists should refuse to work with ICE in determining the age of young migrants with Dental x-rays.

Boston University School of Medicine Professor Sondra Crosby argued in a recent blog post that American dentists should refuse to work with ICE to identify the age of young migrants. The post, which was highlighted this week by Campus Reform, explains that ICE officials often use dental x-rays as a means of approximating the age of young migrants.

According to Crosby, such x-rays are not effective at determining the age of children. Crosby argues that dental age varies greatly from person to person.

Senn uses a computer program that determines age by analyzing an image of the third molar, sometimes referred to as the wisdom tooth. The program compares the dental records of children crossing the border to those from Hispanic youths in Texas, Black youths from Tennessee and a penal facility in Arkansas, and white youths from the United States and parts of Canada, depending on the perceived race of a child. The method is scientifically unreliable, as dental age can differ greatly from chronological age depending on several environmental, nutritional, and genetic factors. It is highly likely that a child coming from rural Guatemala will have been exposed to a very different environment than Hispanic youth in Texas. In addition, third molar development only gives an estimated age range–not ideal when falling just a few days above the 18-years-old cutoff date could have such dramatic consequences.

The post argues that it would be unethical for American dentists to work with ICE. According to Crosby, migrant detention centers are dangerous and overcrowded.

Using dental radiographs to determine age in this context does not provide any benefit to the child and may be associated with significant harms. The conditions in adult detention centers are dangerous: A recent Inspector General report of a Texas detention center found dangerous overcrowding that led to standing room only in most cells, threats to health and safety of both detainees and employees, and dangerous temperatures inside and outside the holding facility.

Breitbart News reported in June that a professor at Boston University argued in favor of a “tax” on media outlets that propagate fake news. Professor Mashall Van Alstyne argued that the tax would create an “inventive” for media outlets to publish truthful news.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more campus updates.


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