EL PASO — Yesterday afternoon, a Laredo Sector U.S. Border Patrol Agent responding to a “report of illegal activity” shot and killed a young undocumented woman in Rio Bravo, Texas. The incident is currently under investigation by the Texas Rangers and the FBI.
“While we do not yet have all the facts in this case, Border Patrol’s history of violence against immigrants requires us to scrutinize every incident involving lethal force closely,” said Astrid Dominguez, director of the ACLU’s Border Rights Center. “We call on the Texas Rangers and the FBI to conduct their investigation thoroughly and transparently, and we demand that Border Patrol expand its use of body cameras to include each and every one of its agents in the field.”
Border Patrol agents have been involved in nearly 100 “fatal encounters” since 2003 and have paid out roughly $60 million in wrongful death settlements, according to a recent analysis conducted by The Guardian. Additionally, Border Patrol is currently testing body cameras in nine of its offices; the Laredo Sector is not among the offices conducting the tests.
The ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project is currently representing the family of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, the 16 year old boy who was shot eleven times and killed by a Border Patrol agent while standing in Mexico.