Supreme Court hears Mexican citizen's case

23 February, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Maria Guadalupe Guereca visits the grave of her murdered son Sergio Hernandez in Ciudad Juarez Chihuahua Mexico

-The Supreme Court will hear a case Tuesday surrounding the fatal shooting of an unarmed 15-year-old Mexican boy by a USA border patrol agent in 2010, determining what constitutional protections foreigners can receive outside of the United States.

Hernandez's family is seeking to file a lawsuit against the Border Patrol agent for their son's death, arguing the agent violated their son's constitutional rights. Trump is preparing a rewritten version of the ban.

"I think it's going to be really hard, certainly in some areas, that a wall gets built", she said.

No one disputes that a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed an unarmed 15-year-old near the border that separates El Paso, Texas from Juarez, Mexico.

In a 1990 case called United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, a four-member plurality of the court ruled that the Constitution does not protect noncitizens from the prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents beyond the border.

Justice Clarence Thomas, in keeping with his standard practice, did not speak or ask questions during the argument.

The circumstances of exactly what occurred are in dispute, but what is clear is the agent was on the United States side of the border when he fired his gun, striking Hernandez on the Mexican side. Using the hypothetical example of a drone strike in Iraq, where the drone was piloted in Nevada, he asked, "why wouldn't the same analysis apply in that case?"

Hernandez's attorney Hilliard said the renewed national commitment to secure the borders and the increased militarization of the border patrol means there will be more such cases.

At some point US border agent Jesus Mesa, patrolling the culvert, arrived on a bicycle, grabbed one of the kids at the fence on the USA side, and the others scampered away.

Meanwhile, parents of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodrigue - killed in Nogales, Mexico, from gunshots fired across the border by a USA agent - have also filed a civil rights lawsuit that is being delayed until the Supreme Court rules.

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Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often wields a critical swing vote in the court, said border questions are the "most sensitive areas of foreign affairs", and that governments, not courts, should decide such "critical" issues, according to SCOTUSblog, the preeminent website covering the Supreme Court. What if US officials go into foreign territory, Kagan asked.

Without Kennedy's vote, the parents have little chance to win.

Falsely blaming undocumented immigrants: "Two hunters accused in a shooting on a remote Texas ranch near the Mexican border had told authorities that they were attacked by immigrants who had entered the country illegally". The U.S. president made it clear beforehand, however, that there was no point in him coming if discussion of the wall wasn't on the table. He also urged the court not to allow legal claims for "an injury outside the United States".

"This culvert is unique", he said, repeatedly citing Hernández's "close proximity" to the U.S.

Border Patrol, however, is assessing the southern border to identify requirements that will inform wall design decisions, according to officials.

Ginsburg argued forcefully that it was a mistake to focus on the Mexican border rather than on the conduct of the border agent.

"We also have a treaty that says there will be a line down the middle of the culvert, but the culvert will be maintained by Mexico and the United States jointly", he said. Sotomayor said she had watched the video, "and I can't square the police officer's account of this incident with the film".

"So I don't understand all this about Mexico", she added. "This case has, as far as the conduct is concerned, United States written all over it".

Mesa's lawyers and supporters say unreleased surveillance video shows the agent was under threat from rocks being thrown at him, and that he acted appropriately.

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