How unreal is it that the border patrol and people living close to the U.S. Mexico border need to worry about being sued by illegal aliens?
Ranchers along the border have long been afraid of being sued by illegals. In this incredible piece from The Guardian, a rancher tells his story and how he’s afraid of illegals suing him: WATCH: THE RANCHERS FROM BROOKS COUNTY
The parents of a Mexican woman who died in a collision at sea with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection boat while trying to enter the country illegally have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit alleging the federal agents rammed the panga.
The lawsuit, filed in San Diego federal court on Aug. 20, names three marine interdiction agents as defendants: Christopher Hunter, Craig Jenkins and Arian Linscott. The three are part of the agency’s San Diego Air and Marine Branch.
Graciela Lopez Franco, 32, from Arandas in the Mexican state of Jalisco, died in the collision. She was crossing in the dark waters with 19 others in hopes finding work in the United States, according to the lawsuit.
Accounts of the June 18 deadly incident have differed. While the lawsuit claims the panga was rammed by the agents’ boat, Customs officials said at the time it was unclear how the collision occurred. A criminal complaint charging the two suspected panga operators leaves out the collision altogether, merely stating, “During the pursuit, the suspect vehicle capsized and all occupants went overboard.”
According to the version of events in the lawsuit, the panga, a low-profile fishing boat, was about seven miles off the coast of Encinitas when it crossed into U.S. waters. The marine interdiction unit had been monitoring the boat’s progress and went to intercept it.
Hunter was in charge of the government’s 38-foot M901 SAFE boat, equipped with lights, weapons and a loudspeaker, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit claims the agents did not issue any commands to the panga’s crew, instead driving the M901 directly at the small boat and firing “flash-bang” warning shots and shots that disabled the panga’s outboard motor.
The aluminum-hulled M901 then allegedly rammed the wooden panga, slicing the boat into pieces and throwing passengers into the water, the lawsuit states.
The passengers were able to cling to pieces of wreckage or climb or be pulled aboard the M901, except for one. Lopez was found floating beneath a piece of the debris, the lawsuit says.
She was pulled from the water, given CPR and flown off on a Coast Guard helicopter. She was pronounced dead before reaching a hospital. Authorities said she was wearing a life vest.
The director of the Air and Marine Branch told The San Diego Union-Tribune several hours after the incident that it was unclear how the collision occurred and it was under investigation. Authorities said the “flare-type” shots were fired at the bow of the panga in an attempt to get it to stop, and it did not comply. The criminal complaint further stated that the agents activated the M901’s blue law enforcement lights and a siren when it contacted the panga.