United States top court orders rehearing of cross-border shooting case

Kidnapped Border Patrol agent says he feared for family

Kidnapped Border Patrol agent says he feared for family

A Court of Appeals had ruled that the border patrol agent, Mesa, had qualified immunity, which means he can not be sued.

The Hernandez family's attorney, Bob Hilliard, expressed confidence in his argument before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that the boy was protected against deadly force by the US Constitution's Fourth Amendment, even though he was not a US citizen.

The agent was on the US side of the border when he fired his gun, striking Hernandez Guereca, who was on the Mexican side.

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In that case, the family of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, sued Border Patrol Agent Lonnie Swartz, who was on the Arizona side of the border when he repeatedly shot Rodriguez, who was on the Sonora side of the border. In a per curiam opinion (PDF), the Supreme Court returned the case to the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Supreme Court's decision comes at a tense time in U.S. -Mexico relations, with President Donald Trump promising to build a wall along the border where Sergio died. Power given to law enforcement by the Constitution will be checked and reviewed, and, if excessive force is used, there will be constitutional consequences.

Agents assigned to the Laredo Sector found the woman in distress while they were working on a ranch near the small border city of El Cenizo, Texas. "When they draw their weapons and aim across our border, they now know that this is not a free-killing zone". Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, a 15-year-old Mexican national, was with a group of friends in the cement culvert that separate El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Hernandez and the others ran back to the Mexican side of the culvert and hid. "Facts an officer learns after the incident ends-whether those facts would support granting immunity or denying it-are not relevant", the Supreme Court said. Hernandez, who was hiding behind a pillar, was shot in the face and killed.

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Border patrol agents saved an illegal immigrant on Wednesday near the southern Texas border after they found her suffering from heat stroke when temperatures hit over 100 degrees.

The U.S. Supreme Court has returned to a federal appeals court a case that claims constitutional protections for a Mexican teen shot and killed by a U.S. border patrol agent. Then, in April 2015, the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Mesa, saying he was entitled to immunity because Hernandez was south of the Rio Grande when the shooting happened.

Monday's decision will send the case back to Fifth Circuit consider issues the court did not address regarding Hernandez's right to sue.

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The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on February 21 when it still had a vacancy and was divided with four conservative justices and four liberals. "What else needs to be discovered to further the analysis and the facts?'" Hayes said.

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