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  • The ruling also ended a lawsuit in which a Border Patrol agent fatally shot a 16-year-old Mexican kid.

    The ruling also ended a lawsuit in which a Border Patrol agent fatally shot a 16-year-old Mexican kid. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 25 February 2020

The decision prevents civil rights lawsuits from being filed in U.S. federal court regarding such cross-border incidents if the injured or dead person was not on U.S. soil.

The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against a Border Patrol agent for fatally shooting a 15-year-old Mexican boy on Mexican soil from across the border in Texas.

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The court voted five to four to uphold the dismissal already exercised by a lower court in the lawsuit against the agent Jesus Mesa, who was standing on the U.S. side of the border when he shot Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca in the face in 2010.

The boy's family sued the federal court for monetary damages, accusing Mesa of violating the Fourth Amendment's ban on unjustified deadly force and the Fifth Amendment's right to due process.

The ruling, which coincided with the position taken by President Donald Trump's administration in the case, also ended a lawsuit in which a Border Patrol agent fatally shot a 16-year-old Mexican kid named Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez from across the border in Arizona.

"Being left without a just solution after such a violent shooting weakens the constitutional foundation of the United States," said Robert Hilliard, an attorney for the Hernandez family, adding that the ruling could "promote a wild west attitude on the border.

The decision prevents civil rights lawsuits from being filed in U.S. federal court regarding such cross-border incidents if the injured or dead person was not on U.S. soil.

The ruling comes at a time of great tension on the southern border, where Trump continues to build a wall separating the United States from Mexico.

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