Family of Mexican Teenager Slain by Border Agent Awaits SCOTUS Ruling to Determine If They Can Sue

This fall, the Supreme Court will decide whether the parents of Sergio Hernández Güereca, a 15-year-old Mexican teen killed by a Border Patrol agent in 2010, can sue the American agent in a U.S. federal court. It’s been nearly 10 years since Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa Jr. shot across the El Paso-Juárez border and struck Hernández Güereca in the head. The central question in the case is whether a Mexican citizen killed on Mexican soil by a U.S. border agent is protected by the U.S. Constitution — allowing for the family members of victims to file civil lawsuits. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Hernández Güereca’s case, the decision will likely impact other cross-border killing cases, including that of 16-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, who was shot and killed by Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz on the Mexico side of the border in 2012. We speak with Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, who represents José Antonio Elena Rodríguez’s family in the civil lawsuit.

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