San Diego International Law Journal

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



Countries that share borders inevitably encounter issues with each other. The United States and Mexico, however, face a uniquely complicated issue: United States federal officers standing in United States territory have shot and killed individuals standing in Mexican territory, generating much tension between the United States and Mexico. Some believe that a remedy for cross-border incidents is best addressed through litigation in United States federal courts, particularly through common law causes of action that afford monetary compensation based on claims of constitutional violations. This issue was recently addressed in part by the United States Supreme Court.

Nonetheless, there are numerous issues associated with seeking a remedy for cross-border violence through claims of constitutional violations in United States federal courts. This Comment argues that the most viable remedy for individuals affected by cross-border violence is not through claims of constitutional violations, but through United States legislative action.

Part II explains the international nature of cross-border shootings and specifies why the issue is of major importance to United States-Mexico relations. Part III explains the shortcomings of current United States and international laws in a manner far more extensive than the Supreme Court’s recent discussion on providing an adequate remedy for affected parties. Given the shortcomings of current laws and the necessity for an adequate solution, Part IV explains how legislation in the United States should provide for a remedy that resembles the right that protects individuals from excessive use of force under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.