Jeff Sheppard Explores What Happens When Families Sue Border Patrol for Personal Injury or Wrongful Death

Posted on: January 29, 2018
NEW JERSEY. Border patrol and ICE agents may have a tough job, but agents have come under fire recently for arresting individuals in locations that were once considered safe for immigrants. ICE and Border Patrol has reportedly been inspecting individuals at unexpected sites. ABC News reported on ICE’s recent inspections of New Jersey 7-Elevens. The inspections are part of a ramping up of efforts to catch employers hiring illegal immigrants. A place of employment may no longer be safe. In other cases, police officers have been reportedly calling ICE when drivers were not able to produce paperwork to prove their citizenship or legal residency. Other stories tell of ICE waiting in courthouses for people who have been charged with crimes.

Yet, a recent investigative report for the New Yorker reported on cases where people have been sent back to their home country, thus imperiling their lives. Immigration officers have a responsibility to identify when individuals qualify for refugee status. If immigration officers have a reason to believe that sending a person back to their home country could lead to injury or death, officers are asked to err on the side of caution. Unfortunately, under the Trump administration, officers are not always erring on the side of caution. The result? People are dying. People are getting hurt.

However, some personal injury lawyers are helping families fight back. For example, if an immigrant has U.S. born children and the immigrant parent was denied his or her due process or rights and was later injured, the children may have a right to pursue a lawsuit against ICE. Relatives of a person affected by improper procedures at the border or by ICE officers on U.S. soil may also have legal recourse. While it can be difficult to win a lawsuit against U.S. Customs and Border Protection, individuals and families have been fighting back. Victims have been given false information or even were deceived when they were forced to sign voluntary removal papers. In some cases, qualified refugees and seekers of asylum are being turned away.

Suing ICE can be difficult. The agency is a government one, and it is thus protected by sovereign immunity laws. However, some legal aid agencies have vowed to take cases through appeals, promising to take the case to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

Officers, whether they be police or ICE, have a responsibility to ensure that proper due process is followed. When they fail at this, individuals can be hurt or killed, and families can be torn apart. Jeff Sheppard, Esq. is a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey who is closely watching as the cases against ICE officers move through the court of appeals. If the cases are heard, they could set important precedents for families of individuals who have been deported to their deaths or to their injury. Jeff Sheppard helps clients facing a range of legal concerns. Visit our site at to learn more.