Texas’ continuing border problems

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2017 | US Immigration Law

Texas seemed to be facing enough legal hurdles. Four of their largest cities – San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas – are challenging the constitutionality of the famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) SB4 “sanctuary cities bill.

With implementation scheduled for September, proponents and opponents are putting in overtime to bring clarify to the chaos.

While the media spotlight was on Monday’s Supreme Court ruling to partially reinstate President Donald Trump’s travel ban, another high court decision involving border-related matters has consequences for law enforcement patrolling the border.

The ruling involves Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, a 15-year-old Mexico resident fatally shot on Mexican soil by a U.S. border patrol officer in 2010. Lower courts ruled that Hernandez lacked constitutional protection against unreasonable use of deadly force under the Fourth Amendment and due process rights under the Fifth Amendment.

In their decision, the Supreme Court specifically rejected a lower court’s previous ruling that upheld the immunity from prosecution of agent Jesus Mesa Jr. The judges requested that the federal appeals court decide on the other issues.

According to attorney Robert Hilliard, Hernandez was playing with three friends in the 33-foot-wide concrete culvert dividing El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Mesa’s legal counsel told a different story. Agents were responding to a group of suspected undocumented immigrants throwing rocks at Border Patrol.

The FBI had cleared Mesa of wrongdoing and the government defended his immunity from civil lawsuits.

In addition to the Hernandez shooting, the family’s lawyer noted that six Mexican citizens have died in 10 cross-border shootings. Hilliard claims that all of the victims and their loved ones are left without any legal remedy.

Apparently, the U.S. Constitution “turns off at the border.”