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Honduran Teen Granted Asylum Held in Yolo County Jail for Nearly a Year

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YOLO COUNTY -- While some kids in Yolo County are enjoying a rare warm day of sunshine in what's been a soggy, gray winter, there's a young teen from Honduras who can only see that sunshine from behind the walls of the county juvenile detention center.

"This kid...he turned 14 in jail. At his age, he should be thinking about homework and friends. He should not be thinking about when if ever he should not be behind bars for the quote on quote crime of fleeing child abuse," said Seth Saunders.

Saunders works with a group called Indivisible Yolo - it's slightly democratic leaning but aims to hold all politicians to a high standard through grassroots action.

It's a group gearing up for a Tuesday rally in support of the young Honduran who's been known publicly only as G.E.

"He played by the rules here. He was granted asylum by the federal government on January 10. According to the rules of the federal government, the Office of Refuge Resettlement (ORR) what is supposed happen is that the child is then supposed to be put into foster care ... into the hands of child protective services and that didn't happen."

According to lawyers and federal social workers handling G.E.'s case whom Saunders has met with, no one seems to know exactly why.

Details Saunders says he's been made privy to match published reports that the teen left his home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras sometime last year - running away from horrible abuse.

He made it to the Texas border in March of 2016, caught trying to cross illegally, totally alone.

He has no family or friends in the U.S.

We're told despair over his past has prompted the teen to try and harm himself repeatedly, requiring him to be held in a locked facility.

The juvenile detention center in Yolo county is one such place where that can happen.

Beth Gabor, spokesperson for the county, could not comment on the case directly but did send FOX40 a statement.

"As we understand it federal law requires the ORR to continue to detain a child even after he or she is granted asylum until a suitable custodian can be located. ORR's obligation is to find a safe and appropriate placement for such a child that takes all of his or her social, behavioral and mental health needs into consideration." reads part of Gabor's statement.

For Saunders, a bible professor at U.C. Davis, there is a greater consideration.

"Leviticus 19," he said.

"It says you shall not wrong the stranger or the immigrant. You shall love them as yourself because ye yourselves were strangers in the land of Egypt."