Family Of Mexican Teen Killed Across The Border Seeks Rights In U.S.
Feb 24, 2017 02:03 PM EST
The day he was killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent, Sergio Hernandez was either horsing around with friends or trying to sneak through a border fence between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. The Mexican teen was killed on June 7, 2010, as a crowd looked on from south of the border. His family wants justice, they will seek rights in U.S.
The place where Hernandez died was on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande according to the Houston Chronicle. His family's lawsuit against the border agent, Jesus Mesa Jr., will go before the U.S. Supreme Court. How to apply the U.S. Constitution to foreigners outside the nation's borders?
The Mexican government supports the family's lawsuit, but argues the case could harm relations between both nations. The U.S. government, then under Barack Obama, filed briefs saying the family's case could insert the courts in sensitive matters of international diplomacy, which includes national security.
U.S. Agent not extradited
Hernandez's parents originally filed suit in U.S. District Court, claiming the U.S. agent had violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unjustified lethal force and the Fifth Amendment right to due process. Their case was dismissed because a judge ruled that those rights do not reach across the unmarked border.
Mexican authorities indict Mesa for murder, but U.S. has refused to extradite him. Bloomberg reported that situation has sent the parents of Hernandez back across the border in search of justice. A three-judge panel ruled that Mesa could be sued, but later that decision was overturned by the full court.
That has left Hernandez's parents wondering if their son died in a land where U.S. agents can kill with impunity. Mesa contended that he fired after several youths surrounded him and threw rocks when he sought to detain a suspected border crosser. The third shot, fired from about 60 feet away, struck Hernandez in the head, killing him instantly.