Abigail Hernandez was denied bond again last week by an immigration judge. Hernandez is a former Rochester City School District student and a young woman with an intellectual disability who has been detained in Batavia and faces possible deportation.
Hernandez’s attorney, Michael Marszalkowski says there hasn’t been much precedent for someone in the young woman's position.
"I’ve been doing this for over 30 years," Marszalkowski says. "This is only the second individual that I’ve handled in all these cases that had a significant intellectual disability as opposed to other types of mental health issues. And I think it’s also rare for the courts too and it might be part of the problem."
Marszalkowski says Henandez's legal team is appealing the court’s decision. He says there needs to be significant protections in court proceedings for people with intellectual disabilities, like Abigail Hernandez.
“Unfortunately she’ll be the lead on this one," he says. "But we hope that we can educate the courts and the government attorneys in the future when these kinds of cases come up again so there’s a little more flexibility and a better understanding of the limits of the person’s capacity.”
Hernandez is facing deportation after an immigration court’s ruling. She was protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act, or DACA, until she was accused of threatening to shoot students at her former school in a Facebook post.
That threat was initially deemed a terroristic threat, but it was later reduced to third-degree falsely reporting an incident.