US Border Patrol union rep: It's okay to shoot Mexican kids who throw stones

mxb.jpgAfter listening to this NPR News piece on a Border Patrol agent shooting a 14-year-old Mexican child near the Juarez/El Paso border, Boing Boing pal Drew Carey noted on Twitter, "I agree the Border Patrol has a tough job, but shooting rock-throwers should be a no-go. Find a non-lethal way to handle it."

Couldn't agree more, and I say that as someone who's aware of what a dangerous and chaotic place that part of the border is. I've spent a lot of time around the border, and on both sides of it, in California/Baja.

According to the NPR News piece, the union rep for Border Patrol agents says it is alright for agents to shoot Mexican children who throw rocks at them.

"There are so many non-lethal weapons available to law enforcement." Drew tweeted, "Has the Border Patrol even considered them?"

The child's body was found on the Ciudad Juarez side of the fence. By all accounts available at the time of this blog post, he never crossed over on to the US side, and was not attempting to do so. He was unarmed, and he was shot in the head. Sergio Adrian Hernández was his name. Related reports at CNN, WSJ, BBC en Español, and El Diario Digital / Juarez (graphic content warning: contains image of Mexican police standing by the dead body).

Thumbnail: that's the slain kid's mom.

(Photo: Jesus Alcazar/AFP/Getty Images)


  1. And when pissed off Mexicans start *shooting* border patrol agents instead of just throwing rocks, the agents are going to be all like, “WHY????”

  2. God knows I don’t want to seem like I’m defending the crazy immigration policies or violent and hyper-aggressive police culture of the US, but from the NPR piece:“According to the statement, the group surrounded the agents and began to pelt them with stones.”

    That seems to me to possibly cross the line from ‘rock-throwing’ to stoning, which is certainly a potentially lethal act – it’s an execution method after all.

    The insane edifice of laws, racism and cultural cognitive dissonance that brought everyone involved together in that lethal moment is one thing – but being on the receiving end of being surrounded by stone throwers could easily seem like a lethal force situation don’t you think?

    1. OK, so if the kids are all on the Mexican side of the border, and the border guards are all on the US side of the border, how do the border guards get surrounded?

      Is there, like, a peninsula involved, with a radius of a stone’s throw? If so, that might be a good place for border guards to not stand…

    2. The Americans apparently didn’t think so back when they blamed the British for the Boston Massacre. Of course, back then they believed in responsible government, too.

    3. The question come down to who you believe then. Supposedly the kids never crossed the border. If the border patrol are on one side of a line and the kids were on the other side, how does one get surrounded? Who crossed the line? All the reports I’ve read that the kids immediately dropped back towards Mexico before throwing rocks. Impossible to “surround” someone if everyone was really straddling the line.

  3. God, that picture is absolutely heartbreaking. This depresses me to no end. No easy solution.

    What would the problem be with open borders with Mexico?

    1. What would the problem be with open borders with Mexico?

      How are politicians supposed to target that highly-desirable ‘fulminating xenophobe’ demographic without the terrifying threat of an open border?

      1. You bring up a good point. Living in Tennessee, I see first hand how most of the ills in the state is blamed on “illegals.” That tactic successfully stokes the racist flames.

      2. ..and it’s historically Hispanic because we went to war with them, won, and took the land.

        Nothing like U.S. expansionism at it’s finest..

  4. Studies have shown that life expectancy increases dramatically the less often subjects throw rocks at people carrying guns.

      1. Well, he was among them enough to get shot. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess he wasn’t sitting off by himself somewhere reading a book of poetry while all the other kids were throwing rocks.

    1. He KILLED the boy, and he was NOT ARMED with any lethal weapon. Nothing more to say. He should be Punished, he is an ASSASIN.
      El MATÓ a un niño desarmado. Debe ser castigado, es un ASESINO.

  5. Very true, though only the video being studied right now will tell the whole story. According to the AP it shows Mexican law enforcement officers crossing into the US, grabbing something from the scene and rushing back across the border.

    If the teenage boy (the AP lists his as 15) was not taking part, it is indeed an even sadder event than first reported. But again, who is to blame? The officers defending themselves, or the people attacking them?

  6. This Wall Street Journal article has a much better description of events, including a statement from eyewitnesses:

    “One of the youths—not the young Mr. Hernández—had thrown rocks at the border patrol agents, Ms. McDow said, but she stressed that the agent’s “life wasn’t under threat.”

    Ms. McDow’s husband, Raul Flores, 52, also said he witnessed the incident. Mr. Flores said the teenager who was shot had stepped out from behind a pillar on the Mexican side of the border with his hands in the air. The agent and the teenager “had four seconds to look at each other” before the young man was shot, first in the shoulder and then in the head, he said.”

    The claim that the agents were “surrounded” comes solely from the FBI statement to the press.

  7. With what Eric Ragle said…why not open it up?

    Well for one I don’t want to be living in little Mexico any more than I already do?

    Perhaps people should move down there take over the run down areas fix them up and turn them into a suburban paradise (or hell if you wish)…

    Complete with mini malls, strip housing, and green overly watered lawns…

    I think you’d call that irony.

    Oh yeah, and speak English….

    1. Well for one I don’t want to be living in little Mexico any more than I already do

      The southern half of the US is historically Hispanic. If you don’t like it, move.

    2. I’m not sure what “little Mexico” is if you don’t live down there already. Are you referring to living around Mexican people?

    3. I read all your comments and you are still a foul person as far as I can tell. Move back to England, or are you afraid of Indian people too?

  8. “Of course they shot [x], [he, she, they] had a [knife, rock, bat, fist].”

    When your gut check reaction is to say the 14 year old boy had a bullet coming to his chest because he was in the vicinity of a rock throwing you should seriously rejigger your notion of appropriate use of force. Cuz yours is fucked.

    Even if you assume the young boy was a/the rock thrower, justify your position that the penalty for that offense is death. And, just to head it off, the penalty for “stupid” isn’t death.

    1. And, just to head it off, the penalty for “stupid” isn’t death.

      Actually, yes, quite often it is. We didn’t evolve these distended brains that consume so much of our oxygen supply and often cause death in childbirth by accident. They provide a selection advantage that generally outweighs the cost. Your mother went through the pain of passing that thing. Failing to use it is not only insulting to her, it can dramatically limit her ability to pass on her genes beyond one generation.

    2. Talk about a problem like this is always difficult, there are two sides, and it’s hard to explain and to try to convince other people about our point of view, that’s why I’m posting only two questions: what would you do, if was an american child instead of a mexican one and in your side of the border instead of Cd, Juárez? Is it fair your answer?

  9. I just read the news report from the Juarez newspaper and according to them, the kids were playing on the river. I don’t think it was ok at all what the border patrol officer did, but still, why would these kids play on a zone that is that dangerous? Maybe for people living in Juarez the border is something they see everyday, but I thought they already knew border patrol people don’t fool around. They are too trigger happy.

    1. This may come as a shock to you, but kids sometimes lack the safety judgement skills that their parents, or other responsible adults, possess.

      As a result (brace yourself): children sometimes do things that are not safe.

      Particularly poor kids who live in what is effectively a heavily militarized war zone.

      You’re suggesting there’s a safe place for children to play outdoors in Ciudad Juarez? A notoriously bloody city with one of the highest per capita murder rates in the Americas?

      Being poor or foolish isn’t just cause for being shot in the head.

      1. Being

        Being foolish, I would say it would be pushing it. If you want to walk down any poor, crime-ridden urban area streets shouting racial slurs and think you are going to just waltz out there unscathed I would say “Good Luck”.

      2. You’re suggesting there’s a safe place for children to play outdoors in Ciudad Juarez? A notoriously bloody city with one of the highest per capita murder rates in the Americas?

        That right there sort of answers the question against open borders doesn’t it? We have it bad enough here, with our own problems.

        I don’t really know what to think. It’s not right to simply jump out against the Border Patrol, because every single agent thereof is not a jerk neither is every Mexican a saint. Likewise not all Border Patrol agents are super-great guys and not all Mexicans are villains. Were the guys in danger? Is one side exaggerating? There’s not enough conclusive evidence for us to know.

        It’s true the agent could have been trigger-happy. It’s also true that, as Xeni said, the boy might have been doing something foolish. Perhaps even as foolish as joining in the rock-throwing and if he did and if the rock-throwing was approaching stoning levels then I wouldn’t say it is a malicious shooting. Maybe he was genuinely fearful and shot, or maybe he figured he would just take one out. But none of us know this yet and while I agree that some shit needs to be done about this border situation it doesn’t appear that assigning fault without knowing the facts is any different from people who try to rile up the masses with ill-considered slopaganda.

        I’m not taking anyone’s side here. I’ve been mistreated by the police before and known some great law enforcement officers. By the same token I have watched the family members and loved ones of a murder victim whitewash the victim’s actions and personality even in the midst of their grief and seen families who have to fight (as mine did) a stigma because of assumptions about the victim based on whatever readily-packed criteria were available for that week’s leap to conclusions.

        Sorry for all the ramble, it just made me sad to see so many people jumping to conclusions when really any one of the people involved or multiples of them on either side, could be lying.

        1. Malicious or not isn’t really the issue. There is a difference between blame and accountability. The guy may not have acted maliciously and gunned down the kid for throwing rocks at him.

          Let’s assume this is true. At best, the border patrol agent acted inappropriately because of his fear. As the person wearing the gun, and enforcing law, he bears responsibility for handling the situation in such a way that a boy without a gun left the situation dead from gunshot wound.

          If it’s malicious, what can anyone say about a stone cold child murderer? If it was a mistake. Well, we need to assign some accountability to provide the impetus for a change in protocol for handling similar situations.

          Because, either way, at the end of the day a kid got shot. And we aren’t even certain he was doing anything so bad as throwing a rock. And we should be able to fundentally agree that this represents an unacceptable outcome to that situation.

          1. I am not disagreeing with you one little bit about him being accountable. What I am saying is that the headline is inflammatory and a lot of the comments here tend toward the Border Patrol agent as not giving a good god damn about the child’s life as if s/he shot him for sport.

            You’re right. At the end of the day a kid DID get shot and no amount of putting blame on one side or another is going to change that, and it sure as heck isn’t going to help anyone to pile blame on top of the the agent’s extant accountability. He shouldn’t probably have a gun again or be allowed back into that field unless it is clearly proven he was under duress and *had* to discharge his weapon. But unless he straight-up coldly murdered that child and there is evidence to back that up, then nobody has a right to stand and judge that agent guilty of anything more than squeezing the trigger.

    2. “I just read the news report from the Juarez newspaper and according to them, the kids were playing on the river. I don’t think it was ok at all what the border patrol officer did, but still, why would these kids play on a zone that is that dangerous?”

      Others have replied to this, but have you ever seen the stories of kids in Berlin who died while swimming in (or after falling into) the river between east and west, either because guards thought it was a crossing attempt or because would-be rescuers didn’t want to be mistaken for an attempt?

      Borders don’t mean nearly as much to children.

  10. s/southern half/southwestern quarter/

    You know what was being said. None of you should act as if you didn’t.

  11. the agent could have walked away or raised his weapon up and fired into the air or any other thing that was non-lethal. Shooting a kid without cause is murder as far as I know.

  12. Israelis do it to Palestinians every day. What’s the difference? I don’t hear the outcry about that like I’m hearing about this. No matter who, it’s just plain wrong. A human is a human, no matter who or from where.

    1. I must have missed the article about the persistant Mexican rocket attacks, terrorist bombings and cross border raids with the intention of killing or capturing US soldiers. The Mexican government also does not have as one of it’s central tenets the destruction of the US govt, no matter what Tancredo says. There’s a lot that’s wrong on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflic, and if you’re not hearing condemnation of it, you’re not listening. The situation is absolutely horrific, and the Palestinian people are certainly getting the worst of it, but the situation is a little different than here. Where Mexico acting the same as the Palestinian authority (and there are likely Mexicans who think they had dominion over the Southern US before the Europeans who live their now took it by force), our feelings about Mexico would be different.

    2. You can think of the rockets that were fired from Gaza as an attempt to send second (and third and fourth …) generation immigrants back “home.”

      Israel shows a problem with stopping birthright citizenship. In Europe, Jews were regarded as aliens that had to be sent home to the Middle East. In the Middle East, Jews are regarded as aliens that have to be sent home to Europe. This is a matter of “Divide the living child in two.”

  13. It used to surprise me when people came out of the woodwork in threads like this to defend the people with guns. To me, shooting unarmed teenagers with rifles just seems like a clear cut case of “the wrong thing to do”.

    It used to surprise me, until the recent Kent State threads. Then I realized how differently some people see the world. There will always be some internet tough guys who say “kid had it coming”.

    To me, carrying a gun on your job ought to be a huge responsibility. You ought to loathe the idea of using it, and there had better be a gun in your target’s hand before you do.

  14. This resembles the border between South Korea and North Korea…where the northern neighbor is apt to shoot at anything that provokes it.

  15. They shot a citizen (albeit armed with sticks and stones) across the border in another country. I realize the practical issues – but why the hell isn’t this an act of war?

  16. @bersl2

    That’s right they should know better than to think I am simply trolling.

    Well if I lived in a state that bordered Mexico, sure I would expect a larger percentage of the population to be Hispanic. If you’d like to know I live in NC, which depending on how you look at it sits a decent bit away from the border.

    My comment about “little Mexico”…

    I suppose it has to do with culture. I am all for people celebrating their heritage. But, you have left your home for one reason or another to venture to a new country. Yet you show little desire to adapt to our customs, or to fit in. Instead you simply have exported Mexico to various parts of my town, city, and state.

    So now there are places where everything is in Spanish, simply because the vast majority of people who have moved to the area are Hispanic.

    Why am I the bad person for feeling that is not okay? That is not the way these things should work (at least in my mind.)

    Twenty years ago the grocery store down from where I grew up used to be a fairly nice one. Now that area is heavily Hispanic, and that grocery store has been sold (a couple of times I think). Needless to say, it’s not that nice anymore. I could point out countless examples like that, everywhere I’ve lived in this state.

    But I guess for wanting my community to stay the way it was when I grew up is wrong, and that makes me a bad person.

    1. I am all for people celebrating their heritage. But, you have left your home for one reason or another to venture to a new country. Yet you show little desire to adapt to our customs, or to fit in. Instead you simply have exported Mexico to various parts of my town, city, and state.

      Maybe if you were in Sweden or Namibia, you could make some claim about historical culture. US culture is just Euro culture that’s bulldozed over the natives. Maybe not even that valid. In the last half century, the US has adopted the corporate unculture promulgated by the entertainment-agribusiness-pharmaceutical complex.

      In 50 years, Latinos will be the largest ethnic group in the US. Having grown up in New England under the tyranny of old-fashioned Anglo culture, I look forward to that change as a upgrade.

      1. Oh, piss on your entertainment-agribusiness-pharmaceutical complex. Everybody knows the true will of the people lies with the consumerist-demagogue-reactionary movement.

      2. Uhh..I wouldn’t be so fast with the switch. It’s not like Mexican history and before that Maya/Aztecs history were all unicorns and rainbows and people were living in perfect harmony.

        They had more revolutions and bloody revolts that one can count to be stable.

        I’m not saying that when they become the majority that it’s going to be bad because of past history but thinking that it’s going to be better than what we have? It might be a little early to say that.

      3. Ohhhh Well if is like that and trying so hard to keep things like they were 20 years go back up a little farther when we went to war with them, won, and took the land. maybe they are just trying to keep like it was too after all is their land that we stole

    2. So now there are places where everything is in Spanish, simply because the vast majority of people who have moved to the area are Hispanic.

      Why am I the bad person for feeling that is not okay?

      You’re right bcsizemo – just because a business’s clientele is almost exclusively Spanish speaking, doesn’t mean they should have the right to post their signs in Spanish, and address their clients in the language with which they are more comfortable. They should be forced by threat of state violence to post signs in the native language of the place, regardless of how many of their customers actually speak it, and to deliberately add mistakes whenever they speak their native language while on the job, so as to avoid speaking Spanish better than they speak the native language of the place.

      I agree, Algonquin is such a beautiful language, and I applaud your efforts in learning it.

    3. “But, you have left your home for one reason or another to venture to a new country. Yet you show little desire to adapt to our customs, or to fit in.”

      Because you are so welcoming.

      What is your heritage? Italian? German? Irish? Jewish? People were not always so accepting of them either.

    4. It’s not that you’re a bad person for your opinion, the problem is it reeks of hypocrisy. Our nation was founded on the cultural importation of many (most notably Western Eurpoean) different cultures, and to say that now we need to disallow one particular group from participating in “The Grand Experiment” because they bring their cultural values and traditions with them is contrary to what it means to be an American.

      I’m proud of my country and thankful for its servants but am sometimes disturbed by the actions carried out by it on my behalf. This is one of those cases.

    5. So now there are places where everything is in Spanish, simply because the vast majority of people who have moved to the area are Hispanic.

      Why am I the bad person for feeling that is not okay? That is not the way these things should work (at least in my mind.)

      Google “nativism” & “xenophobia”

      1. Heh, wow.. I usually don’t like saying “Mea culpa” but damn, looks like the Wikipedia entry for Nativism is pretty much nailing my #61 entry..

        “Anti-immigration sentiment is typically justified with one or more of the following arguments and claims about immigrants:

        Language: Isolate themselves in their own communities and refuse to learn the local language.”

        Looks like this has been going on with a barrage of groups since recorded history..

        Man, and I thought I was more opened minded than this..

        1. You know, dude. Good for you. I’ve written five responses to your epiphany and I can’t get it right.

          Good for you dude. Minus the sarcasm and the need for you to say “don’t you condescend me, man.”

          Probably a landmark day in the history of the internets though.

          1. Heh, thanks! It’s all good.

            Very good arguments from everyone here across the board and definitely makes one think.

        2. I’d also like to thank you for your ability to honestly evaluate things; it was truly heartening and inspiring to see you challenge your own prejudices. Today you get to be officially awesome in my eyes, and thanks for brightening my day.

    6. Now that area is heavily Hispanic, and that grocery store has been sold (a couple of times I think). Needless to say, it’s not that nice anymore.

      Oh sure, it’s obviously not as nice because there are Hispanics everywhere. Because why, exactly?

    7. The planet earth spun around a few trillion times without ever drawing lines over herself and declaring ‘thems’ and us’s’. The entire SW corner of the US was part of Mexico for 400 years until we stole it at gunpoint. Within 40 years of that land hiest, racist flames began fanning from such as Hearst. Borders are artificial lines we are told protect us yet in reality, imprison us in our own stupidity. Every empire that has taken from lands unable to resist invasion and theft becomes the unwitting recipient of it’s refugees. We compound the issue with idiotic drug laws that spawn violent cartels and immigration xenophobia ala the Nazi’s. A child is dead and some of you applaud?
      Shame on you, shame on your hate.
      If we changed course today and opened all borders tomorrow, for a few months people would stream north for better tomorrows but then, curiously, the tide would ebb and retirees who can suddenly afford an oceanfront cottage and business folk seeking new markets and young people seeking a new life would flow south and in a few years, nobody would even remember what borders and immigration fights were about and a 14 year old child will go to school tomorrow and be hugged by his mother and never know how unfair it is do die a child. Peace

    8. I don’t really care if people are speaking Spanish in areas of the United States where the majority of the people are Spanish speaking. There are still a lot of areas with a majority of English speakers where English is spoken.

      I remember meeting friends of my parents who lived and worked in Taiwan and they just kind of looked at me funny when I asked them if they learned Chinese. So many Americans live in other countries without even trying to learn the local language. Why do we have such different expectations of people from other countries who live in the US? There are advantages to knowing English but not everyone who would like to learn it has the time or the ability. If there are Spanish speaking businesses where people who don’t know English can work I really don’t have a problem with that.

      The United States is not an English speaking country. It is country made up of many ethnic groups where many languages are spoken. Get over it.

      1. It’s pretty unfair for Americans to travel or move to another country and not learn to speak the language. I wouldn’t even go on a TRIP somewhere without learning at least enough of the language to get by, and I wouldn’t expect some person to speak English to me just because I showed up in their country and didn’t know how to speak whatever it is they would be speaking wherever I might be. I am always ashamed of Americans who go abroad and can’t speak a lick of the language of the place they have probably spent months or years planning to go to.

        I don’t really care where someone is from or what language they speak as long as when they encounter speakers of that country’s official or majority language, they can speak it. Otherwise don’t get a job where you have to service the public or work with people who speak the majority and not the minority language.

        re: open borders – this is just a general question. What would we possibly gain from opening our borders that wouldn’t immediately be canceled out by the rush of people fleeing the criminals who are already working their way into the country and would then have unimpeded access? How would we financially support such an idea? How would we keep track of who is here and who isn’t? I’m not trying to be a dick, I really just don’t understand the point of open borders, and if it’s such a good idea then how come Canada and we don’t have awesome open borders? It would be much safer to try that first wouldn’t it just to see if it would work?

        1. I wouldn’t even go on a TRIP somewhere without learning at least enough of the language to get by

          Good for you. You have the means and resources at your disposal that allow you to devote time to learning a new language. You should add that to your list of things that makes you better than a Spanish-speaking immigrant right after the luxury to live a life of unexamined privilege.

  17. Oh and just so everyone is clear, I don’t think it was right (given what information everyone has presented) that anyone got shot, much less the kid dying.

    Defending yourself or others from a lethal threat is the only time you need to be using a gun against another human being.

  18. I read that the Border Patrols are very underfunded, but I’m surprised that at least somewhere down there they would of had some non-lethal restraining weapons that could of made this conflict work out for the best.

    Maybe I’m just too naive to think that those could work?

  19. Bcsizemo –

    “So now there are places where everything is in Spanish, simply because the vast majority of people who have moved to the area are Hispanic.”

    Well, that’s for the same reason that where mostly English speakers live in the states, signs and stuff are in English. We don’t have a national language. Communities change. You know?

    JohnnyOC –

    “If you want to walk down any poor, crime-ridden urban area streets shouting racial slurs and think you are going to just waltz out there unscathed I would say “Good Luck”.”

    So, we’re basing the bar to which we should hold our law enforcement accountable on the conduct of gang bangers?

    1. I wasn’t thinking of law enforcement actually.

      I was commenting on how being foolish could be a way for someone to get killed regardless of the situation or if they have the moral high ground or not.

      My dad would say about lethal situations like accidents, “You could be right, but you would be DEAD right.”

  20. Whether the kid was throwing stones or not, he was present at the time. Border agents carry lethal weapons for a reason. A stone is a projectile weapon, regardless of what the opponent is carrying. The Viet Cong through us out with a vastly outgunned fighting force. IED’s kill our soldiers in Iraq.

    Step outside the “poor innocent kid” viewpoint and see the confrontation for what it was. Then try to justify it. In my opinion, you can’t.

    1. I get it. The kid was Viet Cong and rocks are IEDs.


      1. Doesn’t seem like a tenable solution, grimc.

        But here’s an idea: recognize an orchestrated invasion and economic warfare for what it is and put trained, battle-hardened troops on the border who will only respond in kind to attacks.

        1. Of course it’s tenable. It’s worked before: Make an impossible demand (Turn over the WMDs you don’t have!) and when it’s not met–bingo! Casus belli. We install a government that is friendly to our interests, and–this is the genius part of the whole thing–the war would pay for itself when we take over Mexico’s oil production.

          I’m going down to the recruiting office first thing tomorrow. I’m thinking Marines. They have the best dress uniforms. I wouldn’t have to learn Spanish, would I? That’d be a non-starter.

          1. I wouldn’t have to learn Spanish, would I? That’d be a non-starter.

            Not all of it, but they will give you those bitchin’ cue cards so you can “interact” better with the natives.

          2. Well, I’m going to start practicing my “Semper Fi” right now, then.

            And just to add to what some people are saying, I don’t think you’re a bad person for wishing some things didn’t change. It’s human nature, and a sympathetic position. But when your first post can be summed up by your last sentence, “Speak English”, it smacks of xenophobia rather than wanting to go home again. Which, as we all know, you can’t.

            I dunno, I could be reading your second post completely wrong, but it seems to me that your problem is really with change, not people. Your complaints aren’t all that different from, say, the old Japanese in LA’s Little Tokyo that complain about all the new Koreans, or even SF Mission residents complaining about yuppies. It’s not really the carniceria, kim chee or BMWs. It’s that things are changing that you don’t want to, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

          3. Why is it xenophobic about learning the dominant language of the country that you are living in?

            If I went to China, I would learn Mandarin. France, French. IMO, it would be rude of me in the extreme to presume I go into a country to live permanently and raise a family and think “you know, #$*(’em. Everyone is going to adjust to me.”

            Previous generations learned how to speak English which was important to blend in to American society and have taken the major language of the Founding Fathers.

            Do you know anyone that’s Italian, French, Irish, or German that doesn’t speak English where there are at least 2 generations growing up in America?

            Do you see any Italian, German, or Irish when filling out Government forms? Or when you call a bank “press 1 for German”?

            I don’t see any Italian-American cable channels on my TV.

            The point is, generations of countless countries immigrants have come before to this land and adjusted to the language. Some have even taken it as a point of pride that they progeny knows English. What makes Spanish so special that it gets a pass and people don’t want to adjust and force it on the countless melting pot of past immigrants that already are here?

            I dunno, maybe it’s just that with technology and a more stable, and permissive society today certain cohorts of nationalities can just not adjust and it becomes de facto because of their size.

          4. What makes Spanish so special that it gets a pass and people don’t want to adjust and force it on the countless melting pot of past immigrants that already are here?

            The fact that Spanish is the majority language in many communities, so by your reasoning everyone else should be learning it? Or is there something special about the time period English became the language of the land that makes things stop there?

          5. “I don’t see any Italian-American cable channels on my TV.”

            Really? I’ve seen RAI on my cable listings for years.

            If there were bordering nations that spoke German, French or Gaelic you can be sure that there’d be those options on forms and phones.

            Maybe Spanish is so “special” in this country because US “culture” so persistently treats Spanish-speakers as the Other.

            I really don’t get why people get so fired up about Spanish in America. Does it hurt your eyes to see it on a sign? Earaches from hearing it spoken? Is having to press 1 for English a massive drain on American productivity? I also wonder why there isn’t the same amount of wailing about Russian or Chinese. Hell, at least Spanish uses the same alphabet.

            The xenophobia was directed at BC’s comment, specifically in its context and tone. And it’s a favorite trope of true xenophobes, right along with, “Why are you wavin’ that Mexican flag?”

            America has never been a melting pot. It’s a mixed salad, and the lettuce always complains when somebody adds olives, croutons and cheese.

          6. As a former Texan, let me reference a tidbit of Texan-heritage in support of your point regarding language: right through to World War II some parts of Texas itself were German speaking, including a community high school that was conducted entirely in German– so that even overlooking the obvious role of Spanish in the state, your point regarding multiple languages as the norm in general, is well taken, and bourne out by the history of Texas itself. The vision of the past (in Texas and elsewhere in the US) as an uninterrupted monolingual English speaking society… is a myth.

          7. Have you ever met a second generation Latino immigrant that didn’t speak English? I have not. I doubt that such people exist in sufficient numbers to be a blip on the radar of a 300 million plus population country.

          8. Oh yes they are and we call them “huevones que no quieren aprender español” trans. lazy ass people who won’t learn spanish. For some kids (stupidly enough), learning spanish is something shameful. My boyfriend’s cousins who live in the US are second gen and they never learned spanish. Whenever they come here they just look utterly bored and confused.

          9. it would be rude of me in the extreme to presume I go into a country to live permanently and raise a family and think “you know, #$*(’em. Everyone is going to adjust to me.”

            Clearly, this is the agenda of Spanish-speaking immigrants.

            Sarcasm aside, the presumption that these hard-working newcomers to our country don’t want to learn our language is insulting to their humanity and furthers tension between our cultures. In my experience, when I try to accommodate Spanish-speakers in casual conversation by speaking Spanish myself, I am frequently asked to speak English instead. They want to integrate.

            Xenophobic attitudes and assumptions do nothing to foster this mutually beneficial goal. In fact, they only further hostile relations.

          10. The US is one of the few places in the world where some degree of fluency in multiple languages isn’t the norm/expected.

            As someone (not a USian) who’s studied a number of languages without great success in becoming fluent, I must nevertheless say that attempting to do so really should be a part of everyone’s life at some point, as it expands the mind — and heart — wonderfully. I feel some shame at my lack of fluency in my country’s second official language, and I’m attempting to remedy this, ‘brick by brick’, as it were.

    2. Can’t justify what? That it’s not OK to shoot a teenager in the head if he’s not a direct threat to your life?

      Why is that hard to justify?

      To equate a rock with an M-16 is absurd.

  21. A few years ago, two border patrol officers were sent to prison for shooting a drug runner in the butt as he ran back into Mexico. Now a border patrol officer kills a kid for maybe throwing a rock.

    There are ways to handle the immigration and border problem. Shooting people in the head is not one of them.

  22. In general, police are not adequately trained in non-lethal methods. As we rapidly increase the size of the border patrol, how do you think that affects the level of training? Then, consider whether the police have the equipment to respond with non-lethal force. The “warning shot” sounds good, but then what? You fire your shot and another rock zooms your way. Now, you’re backed into a corner.

    Police shoot unarmed people. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. A man swinging a rake was killed in Detroit a few years ago. A freaking net could have subdued the guy. I’m betting that the police didn’t have a net and weren’t trained to use one.

  23. Are there *seriously* people on here criticizing the presence of Spanish-speakers in the US? If you don’t like it, take it up with the conquistadors. I’m sure most Hispanic folks would be happy if their ancestors had been left to speak their indigenous languages instead of that whole widespread-death-and-cultural-destruction thing.

    1. I don’t know about others’ opinions but my opinion about Spanish speaking in the US is, “it’s your business.” My only concern is that when I go to a place of business I am able to speak to someone in English and that anyone with a driver license or any other kind of official documentation *be able* to speak good English.

      1. But why? USA has no official language. English is de facto because it’s most spoken. That might change within our lifetimes. Everything will be in Spanish because there’s more profit in it.

  24. Owww, sarcasm over the internet hurts.


    So, we’re basing the bar to which we should hold our law enforcement accountable on the conduct of gang bangers?

    Isn’t this very similar to what we do already? I mean we have changed a large part of our society to help make them feel more comfortable here. When only 10% of your population was Hispanic and you started printing things in Spanish, it only makes sense that they have little need to try and learn what the majority speaks. So if we are patrolling an area that is known to be violent and the murder rate is high, I’d expect our patrols to be on the cautious side. We are simply following their lead?

    @ dragonfrog

    Alright fine, I’ll agree that a Spanish/Asian/whatever run business can speak and post signs in any language they choose. But, when a whole town is this way, you have become the outsider.

    (But I suppose places change.)

    The more explicit point, is not that a privately run business works in Spanish, but everything here can and does. Again, if you cater sufficiently to any group, why would they desire to integrate into your society?

  25. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    How often do we need to the proof in those words?

  26. Folks, all the speculation is not to the point. Dig a little deeper. The story is there. The point is, two US border patrolmen were surrounded by a small mob of adolescents throwing rocks. (We’re not talking pebbles here, but rocks the size of a baseball, weighing several pounds.) If I were those agents, it would certainly look like “deadly force” to me…I could easily be killed by a good throw. They had no choice. If anything can be called “self-defense”, this is it.

    This is really a provocation, a “made-up” story…to inflame indignant opinion. Go home, folks, no story here. Just one important lesson.

    You try to kill cops, you risk death, no matter what age you are, no matter what country. Get real. This was foolish kids pushing the envelope too far. And that’s all it was, except one kid got killed.

  27. I grit my teeth and plowed through Murder City: Ciudad Juarez by Charles Bowden, and I have to say that this is just one drop in a tsunami of violence that is eating Juarez alive. It’s quite possibly the most violent city in the world. This whole fiasco is a direct byproduct of a dozen corrupt agencies straddling a war zone.

  28. @Vidya108

    My feelings are pretty much the same as Gaudeamus.

    I had several Spanish speaking friends when I was a kid. They spoke Spanish at home and English when they were out. Their parents spoke to me in English when I was over. It never felt awkward or strange.

  29. Is anyone looking at the mother in the picture? This was her child!!! A 15 year old kid who was hanging out with his friends by the river. He was not among the rock throwers. He ducked for cover when he heard gun shots. He was not crossing the boarder. I can not believe that people are justifying the shooting of a 15 year old. Would it be okay if the tables were turned???

  30. Not killing the rock throwers – that’s what makes cops the good guys. I guess the cop in question missed that memo.

    There are bad folks in every crowd – on both sides of the fence/picket/protest lines.

  31. We need mandatory gun cameras for all LEO’s, border patrol, DHS, whatever. If you are “The Man” and you get a gun, it has a camera that takes a picture every time you discharge your weapon.

    The immigrant, cultural, border security, etc elements of this story are not important. This is actually a story about possible/likely abuse of Law Enforcement. If abuse, the result is murder.

    All over this country, we have deployed red-light cameras for the purposes of increasing government revenue. Certainly installing gun-cameras for the purpose of holding people with lethal authority responsible for their actions is a noble endeavor.

    1. We need mandatory gun cameras for all LEO’s, border patrol, DHS, whatever. If you are “The Man” and you get a gun, it has a camera that takes a picture every time you discharge your weapon.

      I forgot who said it, but technical solutions to social problems never work. Someone needs to teach these people that killing is wrong. Plain and simple. If they can’t get that in their tiny little heads, no amount of cameras will make the slightest bit of difference. If you live in a culture that sees guns and violence as anything resembling a solution to a problem then you are seriously fucked in the head. Also there is no “Man.” It’s all people. Some are wearing uniform, most are not.

    2. That’s actually a good idea. I’m no maker, but I can see how it wouldn’t be that hard to put the device together. How quickly can a digital camera take a picture, though? You can fire a handgun at least twice a second so the picture would be a blur unless you made the camera turn on and start recording video when there’s some pressure on the trigger. It’s doable, really.

      1. The moment the official touches his weapon until the contact ends should be documented via a camera with a fisheye lens. This should be in addition to the recording that should take place when a call begins. That recoding should document the entire day but should only be a part of the official record as it pertains to a contact (unless there is a valid question of impropriety that occurs in that time period). These recordings should be on a worm type media that records sequentially and does not have an erase function. This will stop any questions of improper behavior at their source.

        How’s that?

  32. Since we’ve started contracting our border security to Israeli firms like Elbit Systems, it’s only a matter of time before this happens again. Israelis (IDF) have a long history of shooting children for throwing stones.

  33. I see a lot of people in here trying to rationalize a terrible thing. A border-patrol agent shot and killed an unarmed child, It’s inexcusable.

  34. 1. The kid was unarmed, on the Mexican side of the border and according to some came out with his hands up in the air.

    2. This in and of itself indicates that something nasty had been brewing and that the kid thought it to be wise to take a defensive stance.

    3. The assumed rock-throwers were on the Mexican side of the border, which logically leads one to conclude that the border patrol assertion of being surrounded does not ring overly true.

    4. I know fully well what an absolute ass I was at age 14 and that I went out of my way to push anyones buttons, but I don’t think that any kid should need to expect to be shot for it. Certainly not when the involved law-enforcement officials belong to our socalled civilized society.

    For the rest the voiced sentiments regarding Hispanic immigrants and the flatly racist observations on how they exist in our society just turns my stomach. I have little room or patience with redneckery of that variety.
    On my experience, the vast majority of hispanic immigrants (legal or not) are basically honest, dependable and hardworking folks that that show up to do those jobs that the average Anglo American pulls up his/her nose for.

  35. Guadeamus –

    “But unless he straight-up coldly murdered that child and there is evidence to back that up, then nobody has a right to stand and judge that agent guilty of anything more than squeezing the trigger.”

    I guess what I’m trying to convey is that as a person who feels simarly, though probably not exactly, to what you describe, I’m still outraged that the situation ended as it did. As for other people’s opinions, I can’t say. I’m withholding judgement on whether or not the agent is a very loaded term child killer. But, that said, the agent is, by fact, a child killer. And for what seems to be a very poor reason.

    @ bcsizemo

    From the article “T.J. Bonner, president of the union representing Border Patrol agents, said rock-throwing incidents against Border Patrol Agents are common and capable of causing serious injury. ‘It is a deadly force enounter…that justifies the use of deadly force.”

    A group of kids with softball sized rocks are only capable of deadly force when you, as the experienced border patrol professional, mishandle a situation. Some say, think it through. Those rocks can kill. I think that if I were guarding something as binary as a border I wouldn’t go into a depression/ravine/embankment under a bridge with one other guy to apprehend a group of people who, by definition, will come up the embankment to me of their own accord.

    As soon as I concede the higher ground, a group of kids with rocks becomes capable of deadly force. Also, if we presuppose that these people are inherently dangerous, two men going after a group in dangerous terrain is a poor judgement. If the most dangerous weapon carried is a rock, you’ve managed to put them in a situation where their response is concievably lethal. As a law enforcement professional, it’s your job to avoid making choices that put people, even criminals, in inherently more dangerous situations. If, even, at the very least because it means you’ve just put yourself there as well.

    I’d expect them to be cautious too. And, it doesn’t seem very cautious to go after a group of people, in easily dangerous terrain, who may themselves be very very dangerous and heavily armed with me and my partner. This is not Tango & Cash.

    @ JohnnyOC

    “My dad would say about lethal situations like accidents, “You could be right, but you would be DEAD right.””

    I agree. Prudence dictates one not throw rocks at a person carrying a gun for any reason. Really, I couldn’t agree more at a personal level.

    Society, though, dictates that a law enforcement professional not shoot a child for not having learned that. Their profession involves the handling of fundamentally dangerous situations. A mistake of that level must be singled out and seriously addressed. Because a kid is dead as a result.

    Erunnos –

    Be that as it may, evolution did not pull the trigger. And that man’s highly evolved, oxygen intensive species elevating tool should be questioned by other highly, evolved species elevating tools so as to determine how to avoid an unnecessary loss of life, as the unnecessary loss of life is not a species surival tactic likely to aid in passing the evolutionary test.

  36. There really is nothing funnier than anti-immigration, pro-conservative Americans.

    How long, exactly, has English been your lingua franca? How’s your Navajo? For that matter, why have you bastardised MY language to such a hideous extent? “Z” instead of “S”, indeed! Why can’t you speak English as God intended?

    Mind you, my Pictish and Brythonic are both severely lacking, so it’s only right that I should be forced to study them to remain a British citizen…

    Can you not see the problem with “dammit; speak English!” as an idea? Cultures and languages change constantly, and are primarily a tool for communication between people. If you are finding yourself alienated from the community around you because you don’t speak their language, either learn it, move somewhere where everyone speaks your language, or shut up about it. If Spanish is the dominant language in your area, it’s entirely you who is at fault for not speaking it.

  37. My opinion on the shooting: Shooting a kid in the head is excessive. Shooting the kid in the head in my mind means you were calm and not in danger enough to aim high and hit the target.

    My opinion on the Spanish speaking invaders that seem to justify these actions for some people: I grew up in NY where many people come from different parts of the country and different parts of the world, so my view is clearly biased. There are tons of ethnic enclaves where it is possible to not only find signage in the respective group’s language, but also find people that may not be able to speak English well, if at all. However we are able to live with that. My parents could not speak English well when they came to the US. My father is now fluent, my mom still isn’t but they are both citizens now. They first lived in a predominantly Hasidic Jewish neighborhood, where there were other people that didn’t speak English well either (some having been there for generations, some more recent arrivals). And you know what? They, my parents and their Hasidic neighbors, did just fine, being able to communicate with limited English on both their parts.
    Now as the offspring of the Spanish-speaking horde, I can say that I think I did a pretty good job of assimilating. I was never told to be or not be “American” and speak English. It just happened. I learned English from my parents (okay, not so much) and the people I grew up around. The children of my parents’ friends, also offspring of the horde, all speak English too, even though their parents may not. It just happens. I don’t see where the lack of assimilation takes place. There are Hispanic neighborhoods? Sure, but there are also lots of Chinatowns and ethnic enclaves the world over where there are still people “clinging” to their culture. People of the “dominant” culture complain but there are tons that “assimilate” to the country’s culture be it here, in France, UK or wherever.

  38. Is it clear which side of the frontier line they were on? Shooting across the border sets a very dangerous precedent if that is indeed what they did. Imagine if a Mexican officer fired at US kids throwing stones, the reaction would be the military descending from everywhere (a complete circus romanus)….
    It’s the same old MEXICO BASHING thing the US politicians use every 12 years or so, they always return to it…
    It’s ridiculous to think that rocks against high caliber weapons is OK. I say if there is retaliation, it was well deserved, it’s almost like they are trying to convert the borderline into Vietnam and ignore that there is a whole country below it, many many different types of culture in fact, border-towns are not typical of Mexico and the US media should stop trying to brainwash it’s like that in the entire country because it is not but…. oh well, let the weight of this fall where it may.

  39. I’ve been following the news down there for the past decade – It’s not about lost jobs, ‘freedom,’ or patriotism at all…

    Lots of people on the US side of that border have been foaming at the mouth for years for any conceivable pretext to shoot someone – anyone.

    Perhaps they are unaware of two ongoing conflicts in the mideast that would afford them all sorts of consequence-free trigger play opportunities?

  40. As a New Englander whose anceftry goes back to pre-Revolutionary timef, I must infift that you all spell Englifh properly or depart at once to your mongrel homelandf!

  41. Border Patrol agents are civil servants and should be held to a higher standard of behavior and capabilities of dealing with adverse situations.
    The border patrol agents in question screwed up in every way imaginable. Plain and simple.
    1. They put themselves in a vulnerable position and situation.
    2. They failed to properly defuse the situation.
    3. They failed to realize that they were effectively outnumbered and out-maneuvered.
    4. Even if their claims are completely true (which I doubt), they should have extracted themselves to a safer position without compromizing their objective(s). That is their job and there is no excuse for failing to do so.
    5. They apparently gave in to anger and lashed out in vengeance instead of using their gray matter for what itr was issued to them for.
    6. Bottom line; they lost their ‘cool’ and a kid died without cause and for no good reason.
    7. Above all, there is NO EXCUSE for shooting an unarmed kid TWICE. If the shooter is incapable of determining the age of the target and/or cooling down to reach a wiser and more appropriate solution, then he/she has no business carrying a firearm in any capacity.

    And yes, I have walked in their shoes or ones fairly comparable. Come to think of that, they were more like boots and instead of rocks, we had RPG-7 and Plamya fire to deal with. Not a bunch of scrawny teenage punks with a couple of rocks.

  42. If any adult shot any 14 year old kid for throwing a rack, it’s murder. Whether the shooter is a civilian, a cop, a border cop doesn’t matter and whether it happened on the border or within either country, it’s murder and the border agent should be prosecuted as such.

    1. “If any adult shot any 14 year old kid for throwing a rack, it’s murder. Whether the shooter is a civilian, a cop, a border cop doesn’t matter and whether it happened on the border or within either country, it’s murder and the border agent should be prosecuted as such.”

      Tell that to the US army. Tell that to our drone operators. Tell that to Blackwater/Xe. What you’ve said is simply not true. But, man, I wish it was.

  43. My suspicion is that the Border Patrol agent who shot the kid is very likely Mexican-American himself. I base this on an unscientific sampling of both personal recollection and a Google search that yielded a lot of Hispanic names of Border Patrol agents. My point? I detect a certain insinuation that this is an example of American racism. It ain’t so. More probable is that it is no different than most cop-kills-a-unarmed-civilian cases. Reprehensible, si. Racism, no. What’s the old saying about hammers and everything looking like a nail? Cops have guns as their hammers, and cops have a professional culture of suspicion/paranoia. One of those suspicions is everything could be a weapon, another is everyone is a suspect, another is that any attack on them could be fatal, and when in doubt, shoot. That’s why people get killed by the police when they are reaching for their cell phones. That’s why a Mexican kid can get killed stepping out from behind a pillar while other people a pelting a cop with rocks.

    As for people who are twisted up about the prevalence of Spanish language anything in the US today, quit whining. Recent immigrants from Mexico make fun of Mexican-Americans because they are too American, speak lousy Spanish or no Spanish at all. Mexican immigrants are the consumers of the Spanish language media in the US, and use the “oprima numero dos” on 1-800 telephone lines. Their kids speak English and watch Disney channel. This has been basically true of most immigrant groups in US history. My daughter goes to a Spanish immersion elementary school (we’re just anglo mutts) and she has classmates who come from native Spanish speaking households. Why do those people choose to send their kids there? Well one reason is they can’t get their kids to speak Spanish any other way. They understand Spanish pretty well but they can’t speak it without effort. So we are not getting taken over. Yes it’s a wave, but the wave goes back out to sea, now doesn’t it? Then the next wave rolls up the beach. Furthermore, I am willing to wager that the more Latin we get in the US, the wider the definition of who is white will be. At the turn of the 20th century, there was a real debate over who counted as white. The Irish, Jews, Finns and Hungarians (and others) were not automatically thought of as white by some. So if you are white and nervous, don’t be. Them “damned Mexicans” will be more like you than you think sooner than you think. In fact they’ll probably be you relatives. I too live in North Carolina, and yes we have a lot of Mexicans now, but we also have really good Mexican restaurants now (and Honduran, Salvadoreno,a really good Peruvian chicken place, & don’t forget Mexican Cokes). We also have interesting marital phenomenon of the redneck woman with the Hispanic husband. I predict pickups with Confederate flag stickers AND Mexican flag stickers soon. Sorry if I rambled.

  44. So, they not only killed a kid, they killed a kid in a foreign country. Last I heard, that’s an act of war.

  45. I grew up in Texas, along the border to Mexico, and I don’t believe it is at all unlikely or uncommon for school aged kids, or even adults, to be found near the border.

    With the exception of the crossing points themselves, the majority of the border is not secured in any way, and separated in some places by little more than a creek, with development on either side of the border right up to the border itself; so that it is not uncommon for there to be activity on both sides of the border… but don’t take my word for it, check out google street view, and cruise along the street the runs parallel the border, and you’ll see buildings all along the Juarez side of the border.

  46. You start playing with drones in Asia then you end up with crossborder killings in your country…

    Legality/morality is eroded one step at a time. Then, one day, you end up with “good”/”normal” people telling that YES, it’s right to kill a kid playing with stones across the border.

  47. A couple of things from someone who lives in El Paso and is looking out at Juarez as I write this:

    1) There is only one side of the story being reported right now and all the reporting is being done from Juarez. The American law enforcement folks are keeping their mouths shut (with the regrettable exception of the union rep) until the investigation is complete.

    2) El Paso local media has no presence and few contacts in Juarez, so expect all the English-language reporting from there to be done by news agencies. (The most complete coverage I’ve read so far has come from Reuters, for example).

    3) The location of the shooting is the “Black Bridge,” a railroad crossing just west of the main vehicle bridge connecting downtown El Paso and downtown Juarez. This is a high-traffic and high-crime area on the best of days. Notably, the bridge crosses the Rio Grande, however because of irrigation canals which siphon off water into the U.S. and Mexico a couple-hundred yards upriver from this location, there is but a trickle of water at this point. This is key, because it’s like playing in a dry creek bed at this point and there is no fence. You could easily walk from Mexico’s bank to the U.S. bank without getting your feet wet (or your back, thankyouverymuch).

    4) This area is also nowhere near anywhere where “kids” should be playing. There is a large parking lot, and several streets separating it from the nearest residential neighborhood in Juarez. In contrast, about a mile upriver in Juarez, there’s a riverside park with a soccer field.

    5) There are many, many, many Border Patrol cameras and many, many lights at this location. The bridge itself is well watched as is the river below it. Much of this video footage has already been examined by the FBI (which is taking the lead because of the alleged assault on a federal officer), and that is where you’ve heard the stories of gun casings being found on the Mexican side, Mexican law enforcement retrieving items from the U.S. side and taken to the Mexican side, etc.

    5) Assaults on Border Patrol agents are not rare here. In 2007, for example, an agent was hit in the head by a thrown rock while trying to rescue a drowning immigrant. In 2004, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 and 1997, shots were fired at Border Patrol agents from the Mexican side of the border. The agents did not return fire.

    6) Ultimately, my point is this: Nobody should be jumping to conclusions on either side of the issue. The governor of Chihuahua, for instance, blamed the shooting on the xenophobia surrounding the Arizona immigration law. I doubt any federal agent in Texas is concerned about a state law in Arizona. Now, the agent could have been a hothead with an itchy trigger finger, or the teen could have been part of a gang throwing deadly projectiles using slingshots. The point is, we don’t really know right now and all the spin we’ve heard is from Mexico, the victim’s family, and Juarez and Chihuahua officials. I’m confident that the truth will come out (there’s too much of a spotlight right now for it to be brushed under the rug). And, I’m equally confident that both sides will argue justice wasn’t done either way.

    1. Don’t be silly. It is perfectly okay to jump to conclusions as long as you are against the agent. For instance:

      – That Border Patrol agent opened fire against an unarmed child and murdered him in cold blood because America hates Mexico! [CORRECT]

      – That Border Patrol agent might have felt justified in shooting and in fact until we get the facts we will not know whether it the agent murdered the child, reacted incorrectly and caused an unnecessary death, or whether the boy really was in some way putting the agent in a position to feel he had to defend himself with lethal force. In fact what if this situation doesn’t even have anything to do with the border per se but is related to something else entirely?[WRONG]

      It could have been a murder and it could have been not a murder and it’s tragic in both cases that a teenager died but you’re a racist and presumably a child murderer by proxy if you fail to jump to the conclusion that the fault lay entirely on the agent.

      Could it? Sure. But until there’s proof that says so that sure is a leap.

  48. I’m a little confused here. Did an US border guard shoot a weapon across the border, killing a foreign national in his own country?

    If so, I’d expect at very least that the American ambassador gets called by the Mexican to report in person about what the fuck happened.

  49. Some of us have tragically lost our way. What we’re seeing here is something utterly unAmerican. How is it that our privilege gives birth to such repulsive attitudes?

  50. What the hell happened to those two border patrol agents who are in prison for shooting at a drug dealer? The world has gone mad. We are either at one ridiculous extreme or the other.

  51. There is always the “Legalize Drugs” argument to be made. If illegal drugs were at least decriminalized the giant profits that are the norm for drug gangs would plummet and violence would drop along side the profits.

    BTW violent crime is down 9%, and crime overall is dropping quickly. Only one up is Violent drug crime in Mexico and the U.S. boarder.

  52. Guys, this sucks. Absolutely I am inclined to think the boarder patrol agent is in the wrong. Does this means we should open our borders to any and all. Uhm, no.
    You do understand why immigration controls are necessary, right?

  53. This incident is not about Mexican American history, but about current policies regarding US borders and what has become acceptable response for the agents who secure those borders.

    1. Minors screwing around in a riverbed which is a sort of no-man’s land.

    2. Agents respond to situation with aim to expel the kids.

    3. Some of the kids are apprehended.

    4. Remaining kids start throwing rocks trying to free their friends.

    5. Agent shoots one kid in the head.

    It seems to be clear that this is a problem of excessive force and a poor judgement on the part of the agents.

    What disturbs me is reading so many comments trying to justify this senseless killing with what are essentially nationalistic and even flat out racist arguments.

    I don’t want to see the agent get the book thrown at him, but I do want to see an investigation leading to a revision of procedures so that this sort of thing does not happen again.

  54. 1) The killing was a tragedy. It probably could have been avoided, and we will probably never know exactly what happened.

    2) Something like 54% of Mexicans surveyed would move to the U.S. if they could. The same is probably true for most Central Americans. If I were in their shoes, I’d come to the U.S. too. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the U.S. tried to keep me out. Mexico deports more people every year than does the U.S.

    3) For early part of the last century, racist sentiments largely drove U.S. immigration policy. BUT we have the right as a nation to determine who is allowed to enter. We have never had a national discussion about what our immigration policy should be. My opinion is that we have enough peasants already. I think there should be a guest worker program, with close scrutiny of employers, and maybe a path to citizenship. The minimum wage should be much higher, but that will only further encourage businesses to hire the undocumented. So there should be stiff fines for employers who hire the undocumented. This will never happen – employers like things fine the way they are.

    4) Unrestricted illegal immigration has costs as well as benefits. Cheap produce, low-cost housing, restaurant meals, cleaning services, etc. all come at a price. Employers and corporations reap the benefit, but the average taxpayer gets the shaft. People can disagree on the impact of the costs vs the benefits, but it is dishonest to pretend there are no costs.

    5) 25% of CA public school children are “English learners”. 48% of CA students are Hispanic. California spends about $8500 in tax money per public school student per year. A household where one parent is a day laborer and the other a housekeeper pays nowhere near enough taxes to pay for the education of two children. Who gets to make up the difference? You and me. Same goes for their health care. And then, because I live an unexamined life of privilege, and mostly because the local public schools are crap, I get to put my children in private school, so they can receive a decent education.

    6) Few countries, and very few western industrial democracies, offer “birthright citizenship.” Israel does not, because it would be cultural suicide. Perhaps they forgot that they are a nation of immigrants?

    7) I presume most readers of this blog are liberals. I am too, in most resepcts. If we throw open the borders (or more realistically, give up on policing them) we will not be able to sustain the social programs that are near and dear to us, not when most of the world’s poor would move here in a heartbeat if they could.

    p.s. I realize that it makes discussions SO much easier if we just agree from the outset that anyone who is against unrestricted immigration is a racist, so I am willing to agree that I am a racist, just to get it over with. Likewise, I understand that any comparison of our policies in any respect with those of Israel makes me an anti-Semite.

    1. 6) Unrestricted Jus soli seems to the the norm in the Americas and resticred jus solis (usually a provision that the parents have to be legal residents of the country) is in effect in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa.

      Seems to be a large part of the industrialized Western World.

    2. Your assumption that Hispanic immigrants are going to be “peasants” is racist. A lot of them have high paying jobs.

      “A household where one parent is a day laborer and the other a housekeeper pays nowhere near enough taxes to pay for the education of two children. Who gets to make up the difference? You and me.” You’re forgetting that there are also white children of parents with low paying jobs in the public schools. You’re also forgetting about the taxes that housekeeper and day laborer pay indirectly, such as property tax that they pay through their rent, sales tax they pay when they buy things, and all the taxes paid by the businesses where they send their money. And, once more, you’re forgetting about the taxes paid by the many Hispanic people who own businesses and have high paying jobs.

      Finally, the “You and me.” part is troubling. What are your criteria for defining “us” and “them”? Place of birth? First language? Skin color? If they’re here contributing to the life of our country, participating in our economy, and adding to our varied culture then why are they not part of “us”?

    3. Some additional points you may have missed-

      Until 1848, much of the southwest was not US soil, and the population was largely Hispanic (or rather, Spanish-speaking and of mixed descent).

      The population of many of these areas remained largely Hispanic well into the 20th century.

      At various times after 1848, movement of people from the Mexican side was actively encouraged by the US government (look up the Bracero Program). At other times, Hispanic people (both US citizens and non-citizens) were driven out by various means. This is a complicated history, and in many ways determined by the labor needs of the US at various times.

      But no, otherwise I agree with you. All you Anglo-Saxons should go back to Lower Saxony. And take your borrowed Scandinavian epics, longboats and cloisonne ornaments with you!

    4. The argument for not educating the children is actually pretty ludicrous. Who makes up the 8500/yr? The kid. Educating this US citizen or potential US citizen and teaching him English makes him/her more likely to be self-sufficient and a beneficial member of society. Educated kids are better able take care of their parents, making them less a burden as well. Your kids’ society is going to be better or worse for how you treat their peers. The uneducated are more likely to be in the “peasant underclass”, a criminal or dependent on the state. Additionally there are the sons of rich kids who grow up to be oil executives and presidents and end up costing society quite a bit more than 8500/yr.

  55. And an0nymous • #109 – many people vehemently disagree that there should be immigration controls. I can’t understand it either.

    1. There’s no such thing as a non-lethal weapon in the hands of someone with sufficient strength and time to kill someone with their bare hands. In the hands of a week-old baby, everything short of a missile-launch button or contact poison will be a non-lethal weapon.

      A 14-year old boy is somewhere between the two. Against an armed guard, where both strength and time to apply it are limited, calling a rock a lethal weapon is just a pitiful excuse for murder.

  56. “Taxes paid by the businesses where they send their money” was a typo. I meant “taxes paid by the businesses where they spend their money.”

  57. IANAL, so thank you for that distinction between restricted and unrestricted jus soli.

    The countries you mention have recently changed from unrestricted to restricted jus soli. It is a political decision. I think we ought to do the same – require that both parents be legal residents in order for their child to automatically be a U.S. citizen at birth. If the 14th amendment is in the way, we should change it. That was not the purpose of the 14th amendment. Circumstances have changed since then – as I understand it at that time there were no immigration laws at all.

    I should instead have written that “Few countries, and very few western industrial democracies offer unrestricted jus soli”. We have much more in common with western industrial democracies than with most of the countries on the list here:

  58. Dear Mitch:

    Not all Hispanic immigrants are destined to become peasants. Most are destined for the underclass, though: 32% of “unauthorized adults” have less than an 8th-grade education. Their opportunities once they arrive here are limited, and they compete with the native-born of all races, and drive down wages.

    I have not forgotten about any of the taxes you mention. The property taxes paid on an $800/month apartment are a pittance. Absolutely immigrants pay sales tax. And yes, the businesses they patronize pay taxes. Let’s assume a household income of $50k – how much do you think they pay in total tax? Can it possibly amount to $17,000?

    I have not forgotten about lower income whites. We don’t border a country full of lower-income whites who are desperate to immigrate. If we did, we could talk about that.

    “You and me” – legal residents? Income tax payers? Voters? You decide – it’s a figure of speech.

    From a 2001 report from http://www.cs.rg/rtcls/2001/mxc/rls.html:

    � Almost two-thirds of adult Mexican immigrants have not completed high school, compared to fewer than one in ten natives. Mexican immigrants now account for 22 percent of all high school dropouts in the labor force.

    � Though most natives are more skilled and thus do not face significant job competition from Mexican immigrants, this study (consistent with previous research) indicates that the more than 10 million natives who lack a high school degree do face significant job competition from Mexican immigrants.

    � By increasing the supply of unskilled labor, Mexican immigration in the 1990s has reduced the wages of workers without a high school education by an estimated 5 percent. The workers affected are already the lowest-paid, comprising a large share of the working poor and those trying to move from welfare to work.

    1. “We don’t border a country full of lower-income whites who are desperate to immigrate. If we did, we could talk about that.” Excellent point, Kabong.

      IMHO, the United States should have a consistent immigration policy, which is applied irrespective of whether another country borders upon the USA or not.

      Mexicans should be subject to the same sanctions, and receive the same privileges, as Bangladeshis, Swedes, Kenyans, or Peruvians.

      1. IMHO, the United States should have a consistent immigration policy, which is applied irrespective of whether another country borders upon the USA or not.

        I cautiously agree. Unless you are mocking me, in which case I fart in your general direction.

    2. Competition has the potential to drive quality up as well as drive price down. I used to be kind of uncomfortable working with a lot of Mexicans because they were consistently working hard, and that meant that I had to work hard to keep up with them instead of slacking off like I wanted to.

      If these immigrants are a threat to US born Americans without high school diplomas then we should be trying to reduce dropout rates and making sure more people get high school diplomas.

      Most jobs are above minimum wage and employers are looking for qualities such as reliability and work ethic as much or more than they are looking for willingness to work for a low wage. If high quality workers help businesses to do well that is good for our economy.

      A lot of immigrants send money home, and some of that money is spent on US exports, which benefits US workers producing those exports.

      Immigrant owned businesses help other businesses to stay in business. The Mexican restaurant down the street from me is buying food, dish detergent, refrigerators and stoves, and many other items from local businesses, thus enabling those businesses to be employers. Economic activity drives prosperity. That’s how capitalism is supposed to work.

      I work for a call center selling products advertised on TV that has a high need for Spanish speaking agents. The reason they need a lot of Spanish speaking agents is because a lot of Spanish speaking people are buying things from US business! Besides generating prosperity for the businesses making those products they are creating more job opportunities for bilingual people.

      1. Illegal immigrants unbalance the supply aspect of the labor market.
        Not saying some businesses will not thrive as a result of their presence but they are a major cause of downward wage pressure.
        It’s that simple.
        Open borders mean the end of the middle class.

        “Most jobs are above minimum wage and employers are looking for qualities such as reliability and work ethic as much or more than they are looking for willingness to work for a low wage.”
        Do you honestly believe this?
        There was a time in this country when a man might make a decent living as a sheetrocker or meatpacker. Those days are long past.

        1. There was a time in this country when a man might make a decent living as a sheetrocker or meatpacker. Those days are long past.

          My contractor friend pays his sheetrockers $15 – $20 an hour, depending on experience, plus he pays all the applicable disability, etc. We live about 50 miles from Mexico.

          1. Good. I imagine he gets top quality workers for that wage.
            Do you think he is the rule or the exception?
            Are his workers documented?
            Could he hire undocumented workers of similar work experience for less?
            Does he compete with others that do?
            Is that fair?

          2. How much would he have to pay if he could nullify gravity? Could his workers be replaced by androids? Would he pay less if construction materials could be teleported to the site?

          3. “nullify gravity?”

            Hell, if he could do that people would be paying him!

            I guess it might cost him his soul or something, but I’d pay to experience zero G floating on the ground.

            (Sarcasm or not, that’d be kick ass.)

    3. “center for immigration studies”

      Nice link man, CIS is basically a racist nativist group with deep ties to white supremacists. I like to think that all the racism and xenophobia that comes out of the woodwork when immigration related articles are posted are due to not regular boing boingers but I’m beginning to think otherwise.

      All the same bullshit nativist ideas from hundreds of years ago trotted out over and over again.

      1. I’m a regular Boing Boinger. I’m not a racist or xenophobe. I do believe that the immigration laws need to be enforced.
        It’s astounding to me that I am so in the minority.
        No one seems willing to acknowledge the economic impact and additional infrastructure costs that accompany unrestricted importation of poverty.
        It is equally astounding to me that I have to caveat everything with “I am not a racist”.
        I’m not! The only people I have emnity against in this situation are
        the corporatists (who benefit from an underclass of citizens who 1.are afraid to unionize for fear of deportation and 2. destabilize the labor market with oversupply).
        persons who refuse to acknowledge the negative effects of uncontrolled illegal immigration.

        You cannot freely import poverty from places with an inexhaustible supply without consequences.

        1. ‘m not! The only people I have emnity against in this situation are
          the corporatists (who benefit from an underclass of citizens who 1.are afraid to unionize for fear of deportation and 2. destabilize the labor market with oversupply).
          persons who refuse to acknowledge the negative effects of uncontrolled illegal immigration.

          They’re afraid to unionize because of strict immigration laws. If you favor amnesty then I’ll give you more credit. As long as neoliberal corporate welfare policies like NAFTA, farm subsidies etc. continue to impoverish people to the South of us, there will be a huge drive to cross the border no matter what the risk.

          You can choose a progressive humanist approach or a exploitative, nativist one.

          And yeah, I do think it’s hilarious that so many self proclaimed ‘liberals’ also have pretty xenophobic views when called out on the carpet. “I’m not racist, but”.

          1. @Neon Tooth
            You make me sigh heavily.
            Truly, your racism detector is unparalleled.

            Fine. The cleaning crew at a company that I worked for laid off all their employees one week and I believe that they have hired exclusively spanish speaking replacements. Upon running into one of the ex-employees at a gas station he told me that they hired illegals at minumum wage to replace the regular employees and I believe him.
            He’s a real person, who used to do real work, and now makes no money.

          2. Upon running into one of the ex-employees at a gas station he told me that they hired illegals at minumum wage to replace the regular employees and I believe him.

            And nobody got caught? It’s one thing to hire an illegal nanny or maid. Running a business with illegal workers and not getting caught? Not a very sustainable business model.

            My contractor friend ran everything above board because he got busted for minor infractions. Contrary to popular meme, the IRS and the INS provide quite a bit of oversight unless it’s domestic help (which is too hard to track) or agriculture (which has lobbyists to make problems go away).

          3. I suppose it depends where you are. I have to laugh at your tone of astonishment that no one got caught. One of the Mexican guys who worked for us (he had papers,but I wouldn’t dare to try to verify them, good enough for us and La Migra never bothered us)was looking for a second job at a gas station and the owners told him he was hired, but would have to kick back some of his minimum wage to them.

            I guess a larger point is, anecdotal experience will only take you so far. Around here the popular meme is alive and well.

            I do always enjoy the way you turn the title of moderator on its head.

          4. And how exactly do you get around the IRS? If you’re paying your employees, the IRS is going to notice that they don’t have SSNs or Tax IDs. If you don’t deduct your employees’ salaries, you’ve got a pretty huge tax problem. A gas station operates largely on credit and debit cards, so it’s pretty hard to hide your income in that case.

          5. Dude, you seem kind of crabby today. I hope all is well in Antinous-land

            As for you question about the IRS, apparently it isn’t so difficult. The IRS is not all seeing. I have worked at many restaurants where I got a little check each week and an envelope of cash. I have an old friend who is married to an undocumented Mexican who works in landscaping. He gets paid daily in cash. No taxes. My ex-wife’s boyfriend worked construction off the books so as not to jeopardize his disability and Medicaid. Happens all the time. Now fifty miles from the boarder, you might get more scrutiny. And remember, you’re the one who has placed stock in anecdotal evidence. Just saying.

          6. I didn’t say that it’s not possible to work without papers. I said that it’s not a sustainable business plan to hire undocumented workers on a regular basis. You will get busted. That’s why they take the jobs that nobody else is willing to do. The meat packing industry and construction industry (as in an0nymous’s example) are not laying off masses of US citizens so that they can hire workers without papers. That’s just scaremongering.

          7. Naw, they all had papers, and we always paid payroll taxes, FICA and worker’s comp. taxes for all our employees, it’s just that some of the social security numbers might not have matched exactly with the names, strictly speaking. For a larger business, or just in a place with a more active immigration enforcement office, it might be a problem, but I suspect there are many areas like ours where lots of workers have a twilight kind of status, and it’s just more or less customary. Not a huge risk for a business, the way it’s (not really) enforced.

          8. Surely it’s their illegal status that simultaneously drives down their wages and creates a burden on the state?

            The fact is that there are a lot of people who are prepared and willing to come to the US (and any industrialised nation for that matter) because they have the potential to earn far more, even earning money illegally, then they would be able to at home.

            The demand for these jobs doesn’t go away because you make it illegal to cross the border; all that happens is you drive the economy underground. So, you have workers who are unable to ask for minimum wage because they cannot be employed legally, and unscrupulous employers who will employ them for a pittance. It’s their illegal status that drives wages down, not their presence.

            If everyone who wanted to work in the US were given permission to do so, but registered and taxed, and the minimum wage strictly enforced, wouldn’t that have a net benefit on the economy? More people means more tax revenue and more consumption, which in turn encourages production. More production means more jobs; this isn’t a zero-sum game, after all.

            The benefit to restricted immigration is purely short-sighted; it enables employers to find short-term, uninsured, underpaid staff that mean they are able to boost production without having to proportionately increase their overheads. As long as immigration is kept reasonably in check, this growth is sustainable, as long as the net gain to the economy is greater than the damage caused by having untaxed workers sending money home and using public resources.

            This is why the US makes vague attempts to restrict the flow of people but does proportionately very little to make it difficult to employ immigrants short term.

            What damage would a taxed, registered workforce of immigrants working to an enforced minimum wage do to the economy, other than make short-term growth more difficult to employers? I’m genuinely interested to know…

  59. Dear Boba:

    Of course it’s a complicated issue. But we have to talk about the facts on the ground now, not about how things were two centuries ago.


    Large-scale immigration from Mexico is a very recent phenomenon. In 1970, the Mexican immigrant population was less than 800,000, compared to nearly 8 million in 2000.

    Did any of us (sorry, there I go again) get to vote on this?

    1. Where are you getting these numbers? Is this the legal, illegal or combined population? If it is the legal immigrant population, I’m not sure what your point is- they have met a rather high standard for immigration and are likely making a positive contribution to the economy and society.

      With regards to the “open border” strawman many people have put forward, the fact on the ground in much of the southwest is a de facto “open border.” Any immigration controls within these areas are not so much to prevent people from coming across, but to maintain low wages on those who do come across. This is where you see your downward pressure on wages for things like manual labor in southwestern states. If workers were allowed to come across and compete fairly in the labor market (and organize), it might even drive wages up.

      For much of the second half of the 19th century, and the first half of the 20th, the US had a pretty “open border” (my great grandfather only had to disavow allegiance to any foreign prince or potentate and swear that he wasn’t an anarchist or bigamist). It doesn’t seem to have led to many long-term problems.

      1. Well said, the problem is that neoliberalism likes free and open borders when it comes to capital and jobs, but not humans. Jobs are free to leave the border, we’ll drain your cash from across your border, but you can’t cross the border.

  60. Just pointing out that unrestricted immigration is not an unmitigated good thing.

    Kabong out.

  61. That is a straw man. I didn’t think it was necessary to state that I’m in favor of universal education. Obviously (?) we don’t want to punish the children.

    As to “Who makes up the 8500/yr? ” – taxpayers do. That’s the point. If immigration were restricted/discouraged, there would be fewer children of illegal immigrants receiving schooling at taxpayer expense.

    1. If you noted the cost of educating some kids as a reason to support your views on immigration, it seems you resent paying for these kids. So I think your support of universal education is not absolute. Also, what about the orphans of American citizens? No one’s paying diddly in taxes for them. Can we deport them? The parents of immigrants are paying more to support them then the orphans’ deceased families, so I think the orphans should be kicked out first.

      Unrestricted illegal immigration has costs as well as benefits. yes, that is true. It is also true that restricted illegal immigration and protectionism has costs as well as benefits. Change is hard.

  62. I just can’t help but think that if we sunk as much money and attention into our southern neighbor as say, Israel, things would be different in Mexico.

  63. “Unless you are mocking me” – Not at all.

    When I hear an advocate of open borders telling me that controlling the border is “racist” I like to ask “All right…suppose five thousand (white) Estonians charter a ship and simply show up on a pier in New Jersey some fine afternoon. Is the local community obliged to just belly up to the bar and provide medical care, food stamps, bilingual education…the whole ball of wax??”

  64. If I may remind some people around here, just because you have a gun it doesn’t mean that the head would automatically be the only viable target.
    If the agent was indeed surrounded by teenagers throwing rocks he could as easily shot them in the kneecaps immobilizing him immediately. If he was close enough to hit him in the head he can just as easily aim for their feet.
    It might just be Hollywood stories, but i believe at some point officers could also fire warning shots.

  65. I want to see the video of the area released to the media NOW.

    This bridge has got to be covered by cameras that record 24/7.

    Of course the border patrol shouldn’t have put themselves in a position that they could have gotten their asses kicked by rock throwing adolescents.

    Shooting across an international border?

    Come on, who trained these guys?

    (expletive deleted)

  66. “Most jobs are above minimum wage and employers are looking for qualities such as reliability and work ethic as much or more than they are looking for willingness to work for a low wage.”
    Do you honestly believe this?

    Actually, yes. Before I went to tech school I made a decent living as a temp agency worker and then as a factory worker, and I didn’t work anywhere near the minimum wage. I didn’t need other workers to be excluded from the country to protect me from competition. I was hired because I was hard working and reliable, not because I was cheap.

  67. C’mon, antinous.
    That’s uncivil.
    You invoked your friend as anecdotal evidence that all is well in contractorland.
    I asked a couple of questions, and you’re mocking me?
    Is there really equivalency in your mind between
    “Could he hire undocumented workers of similar work experience for less?”
    “Could his workers be replaced by androids?”

    Forget it. Sorry I took up your time. You may return to the ramparts victorious in your rhetorical mastery.
    Great work, mod.

    1. I asked a couple of questions, and you’re mocking me?

      I gave you a real world example and you tried to bury it in theoretical questions. That strongly suggests to me that your theories are far more important to you than anything that happens in the real world with real people and real work and real money. If you have concrete examples to support your theories, please let us hear them.

  68. Was he suppose to start throwing rocks? Or not do anything and let the situation escalate?
    Totally justified, nice work for a tough position. Keep up the good work.

  69. Having a look at both sides of the killing of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereka (Cd. Juárez border) my conclusions:
    a) My goverment (México) is telling a continuous lie: to take pride in the “migrant” (illegal) crossing of my fellow mexicans into USA
    b) Across the nation, people really belive is legitimate to get into USA illegally, and that México’s gov. should protect this “right”
    c) Mexico IS NOT Gaza (Palestine). Throwing rocks to USA’s federal police has not any meaning, & I’m seeing the sad consecuences
    d) No evidence, video, photo or otherwise, can change Mexico’s people vision (that they have a “right” in doing illegal things)
    e) Of course, Border Patrol, specially on conflictive crossings, should be better equiped (ie. rubber bullets) to deal with this scenarios
    f) Of course, my own country, México, should better deal with my fellow country men in giving them (and me!) better conditions to grow in
    And at last (but not least) I sould repeat this is sad, it shouldn’t happen this often… it’s sad for both sides.

    1. Sadly so, and no, this is the genius response that both main parties decided on after the perceived rise in popularity of the BNP’s policies on immigration.

      We go into a recession; jobs become harder to find; the BNP and the right-wing media blame it on immigration, and, rather than correcting people’s false assumptions, the mainstream parties tried to win popularity by toughening their stance on immigration. Because making it tougher for people to come here and work when we have an ageing population and a failing economy is EXACTLY what we should be doing, obviously…

      Sorry for going off-topic.

  70. Since the shooting of rock-throwers doesn’t happen every day, I have to assume that the vast majority of Border Patrol Agents have kept a cool head in situations just like this. It’s just a matter of letting the justice system discipline those who take it too far and citizens letting it be known this behavior won’t be tolerated. There’s no justifiable reason to shoot an unarmed kid in the head and you certainly can’t hold the mantle of a freedom-loving country if you’re willing to overlook it.

  71. Hi i am mexican, i never have lived in USA. but i would like to know the reaction of american people if a mexican cop shoot an american kid in the head in the american side just for beeing fooling around… i work with us customs every day and some of them are really good persons, and others are a bunch of crap with a badge that thing that mexican people is less worth. you guys need us more than you think, and have a nice skin, car, city doesnt make you any better than others. we just ask for respect to us.

  72. Should take the agents gun and drop him off in Mexico. America has become a police state. Step outta line and see what happens. The US has more of its citizens in jail than any other country. Yea, ive lived in mexico, central america and a couple other places. I am American and every day i grow more ashamed. We used to be a great nation. Now were just rappers, politicians and bigots

  73. Who the hell cares what his union rep says? That guy is there to support him.

    What do his superiors say? Is it their formal policy that it’s 1) it’s all right to use lethal force when they are not in immediate danger and 2) That it’s legal for them to shoot into Mexico without concern that they’re causing an international incident.

  74. Murder in cold blood nothing else. There is some video recorded in a phone that clearly shows this. All the FBI statements are bullshit

  75. ok, so let me get this straight… the UNION rep said that’s it alright to for the agents to shoot Mexican children…. let me write that again for those who didn’t see it, THE UNION REP said it’s alright…

    i wonder what side unions take on the immigration issue? hmmm

    people, this is not a tough one…

  76. Just looking at the picture it would be hard to throw a stone over the fence and somewhat impossible to surround anyone on the US side…smells like cold blooded murder to me…

  77. I find this to be absolutely appalling. NO child should ever be shot, especially for just throwing a rock.

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