Mexican national Sergio Hernandez, aged fifteen, was shot and killed by a US Border patrol agent. The claim that Hernandez provoked agents is disputed, but this question presents itself: should federal agents have to justify their use of force, against citizens or foreigners?
The answer should be yes, for any use of government power:
“It would be a dark and dangerous precedent for the courts to hold that federal agents can kill people with impunity merely because they are just across the border and not U.S. citizens,” said Sean Riordan, staff attorney of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. “Sergio’s family deserves their day in court to ask that the government take responsibility when its agents abuse their power and kill without justification.” The amicus brief argues the government’s rationale is “staggering” and would mean that U.S. agents could intentionally shoot Mexican or Canadian citizens across the border with no judicial review when victims sought accountability.