Judge denies Abigail Hernandez request to remain in the U.S.
Batavia, N.Y. (WHAM) - The request to remain in the United States that was made by Abigail Hernandez was denied by a judge on Friday.
The closing arguments were heard for the Hernandez case on Friday morning.
Hernandez' request to remain in the United States was denied. The judge says the defense failed to prove any points that could provide asylum.
In February, Hernandez was arrested and charged with a felony after creating a Facebook page and posting that she was going to shoot students at East High School. In June, Hernandez plead guilty to falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor.
On Friday, Immigration Justice Steven Connelly said the court was sympathetic. He acknowledged Hernandez was brought to the U.S. illegally when she was five-years-old.
In his findings, Connelly said testimony proved she has a family structure, with a grandmother in Mexico and Hernandez’ step-father testifying that he would move with her if she was removed from the states.
Hernandez's attorney, Hannah Vickner Hough, argued that she should be granted asylum, claiming the crime she was convicted of is not a violent one.
Vickner Hough also argued that because Hernandez has intellectual disabilities, she will not receive the necessary support if sent back to Mexico to live with her grandmother.
But Justice Connelly found intellectual disabilities are not the same as mental health issues. While acknowledging the 21-year-old is at a 5th grade reading level, there is no proof of persecution against those with intellectual disabilities in Mexico, and educational opportunities do not fall under immigration law.
Connelly also said, with no explanation of why she created the Facebook page and threatened to shoot her classmates, the court could not conclude if she is a future danger.
He went on to say, "In the current climate of school shootings...these types of threats are and must be taken seriously."
Hernandez' lawyer reserved the right to appeal and has 30-days to do so. Hernandez will remain at a Batavia detention center during this process.