Judge rules against asylum request by woman with intellectual disability being held in Batavia
An East Rochester resident being held at the Buffalo Detention Facility in Batavia was denied her asylum request following a continuation of her deportation hearing Friday morning.
Immigration Judge Steve Connelly ruled that an intellectual disability, unlike mental health issues, is not sufficient grounds for asylum in the United States. While acknowledging the 21-year-old is at a fifth-grade reading level, the defense failed to prove there is persecution in Mexico of people with intellectual disabilities.
Connelly found that the possibility of the stepfather of Abigail Hernandez moving to Mexico to help care for her, plus the possibility of care from her grandmother or other relatives, proved she had sufficient family structure to be cared for in Mexico.
Hernandez was arrested after posting threats of violence against students at her high school on Facebook. Hernandez pled guilty to a lesser, nonviolent offense, and Connelly said although there was no evidence that she is a future threat, in the current environment, such threats must be taken seriously.
Hannah Vickner Hough, representing Hernandez, has 30 days to appeal the decision. In the meantime, Hernandez will be held at the detention facility.
Information via The Batavian's news partner, 13WHAM. For the full story, click here.