Abigail Hernandez, family face difficult outcome

November 02, 2018 07:00 PM

It is the absolute worst outcome for Abigail Hernandez and her family. 

A federal immigration judge ruled against her request for asylum in the United States.  

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Hernandez had argued that she doesn't have relatives who can care for her in Mexico, doesn't speak Spanish and is now being treated for anxiety. 

However, Hernandez will still seek asylum because her attorney argued her intellectual disability would make her a target which could bring persecution and torture in Mexico. 

In addition, Hernandez's attorney argued the charge, that Hernandez pleaded guilty to in state Supreme Court, was not serious enough nature to warrant her removal. Hernandez threatened, in a social media post last winter, to 'shoot up' East High School. She pleaded guilty to reporting a false incident.

Her stepfather testified that Hernandez has the capability of an 8 year old and was not aware of the severity of her actions.

The attorney for the government argued that while Hernandez pleaded guilty to a lesser crime, her social media post threatening to 'shoot up' a local school is serious, particularly in light of the recent school shootings. He said Hernandez knew it was wrong because she set up a phony social media account to avoid getting caught.

The judge upheld the government's argument that Hernandez has a disability, not a mental health concern. The judge also found that the evidence did not support the claim that Hernandez would be persecuted in Mexico. 

The testimony of her Hernandez's stepfather also came under scrutiny. The government's attorney said it was inconsistent with media reports and should not be considered by the judge. 

Hernandez will remain in the U.S. for now since her lawyer reserved the right to appeal the judge's ruling. She has 30 days and will remain at the federal detention center in Batavia until then. 

What are the next steps? Earlier this year, News10NBC took an in-depth look at the process, how long it can take, what it costs, and where people are actually sent.


Lynette Adams

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