updated 1/14/2007 2:44:15 AM ET 2007-01-14T07:44:15

A U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a 22-year-old Mexican who was crossing illegally into the United States, U.S. police said Saturday.

The agent shot Francisco Dominguez, who had crossed into Arizona with family members and other migrants, while trying to take him into custody, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Carol Capas said.

She declined to give further details, including why the shooting occurred, because of an ongoing investigation. A spokesman at a U.S. Border Patrol office in Tucson, Arizona, could not be reached for comment.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said it instructed the Mexican Embassy in Washington to investigate the shooting of Dominguez, who came from the state of Puebla.

“The ministry is concerned about these kinds of situations of disproportionate violence that lead to the loss of human lives,” it said in a news release.

Risky journey
Every year, thousands of Mexicans risk their lives sneaking across the 2,000-mile border, much of it desert, looking for work to escape poverty.

The millions of illegal Mexican immigrants who work in the United States annually send billions of dollars home to their families.

Last October, President Bush signed legislation to build 700 miles of fencing along the U.S. border, despite massive street protests by opponents and condemnation by Mexico’s government.

Immigration is seen as a threat to employment by many Americans. Supporters of the fence say it is also needed to keep out drug smugglers and terrorists.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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