Immigration: Betrayed in the Line of Duty
"While the Bush administration seeks amnesty for illegal aliens and grants immunity to a Mexican drug smuggler, it has thrown the book at two courageous Border Patrol agents."
(Note: Where are your and my elected officials while these heinous criminal actions take place? With the exception of U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo and a hensteeth few others, it appears they'd like to simply take a large eraser to our sovereign borders and allow honest Border Patrol agents to be injured, killed and destroyed by those that "elected officials" say they're waging a "war on drugs" and a "war on terror" against. It is almost beyond comprehension, but it is true, that the very country these honest Border Patrol agents sought to protect has turned on them. It appears that the less-than-scrupulously-honest among America's "lawmakers" prefer to welcome the carnage their actions are inflicting, not only upon such honest Border Patrol agents, but also upon every American that cherishes our Constitutional Republic.)
September 18, 2006 (Last Updated: February 10, 2007)

By William F. Jasper
The New American
To submit a Letter to the Editor: [email protected] 


(UPDATED October 19, 2006; see end of article.) While the Bush administration seeks amnesty for illegal aliens and grants immunity to a Mexican drug smuggler, it has thrown the book at two courageous Border Patrol agents. (Contact President Bush and Congress to help rectify this gross miscarriage of justice!)

Jose Alonso Compean, shown here with some of the drugs he has stopped from coming across the border, now faces 20 years in prison, based on charges by a career drug smuggler who stands to win $5 million for his testimony. (Photo courtesy of Friends of the Border Patrol.)
Fabens, Texas - The chase was on. The suspected smuggler van turned back toward the Rio Grande and headed for Mexico. Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos was on his tail. Other agents were also converging on the scene. The suspect realized he wasn't going to outrun agent Ramos' vehicle, and so he abandoned his van on a levee and took off on foot. As the suspect headed into the canal, Ramos yelled for him to stop but was ignored.

As Ramos crossed the canal, he heard gunshots. Ramos knew he was in an area where the Mexican drug cartels have grown increasingly brazen, and where Mexican police and military units often support the drug smugglers. He didn't know if, when he emerged from the canal, he would be facing an armed suspect, possibly reinforced by heavy firepower.

As he came over the levee, he could see a fellow officer, agent Jose Compean, bloodied and lying in the dirt. Sweating, heart pounding, and adrenaline pumping, Ramos raced by Compean after the smuggler, who was kicking up clouds of dust as he ran. Suddenly, the smuggler stopped and turned toward Ramos and pointed what appeared to be a gun. Agent Ramos raised his pistol and fired one shot, upon which the suspect spun around and continued running for the river. Ramos, with the danger passed, immediately lowered his pistol.

"I shot," Ramos later told reporter Sara A. Carter. "But I didn't think he was hit, because he kept running into the brush and then disappeared into it. Later, we all watched as he jumped into a van waiting for him [on the Mexican side of the border]. He seemed fine. It didn't look like he had been hit at all."

When Ramos returned to the levee, seven other Border Patrol agents were on the scene. A search of the abandoned van revealed nearly 800 pounds of marijuana. All in all, not a bad haul for 15 minutes of heart-pounding work. The agents had survived another potentially life-threatening incident without a death or serious injury. Just another day in the life of a Border Patrol agent. They had the smuggler's loot, even though the smuggler got away. Oh well, maybe they'd catch him tomorrow, when he tried another drug run.

However, it hasn't turned out that way at all. Instead, the smuggler - a Mexican national named Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila - has turned the tables on his Border Patrol pursuers. Now it is agents Ramos and Compean who face prison. They already have been fired by the Border Patrol and bankrupted by legal expenses. Agent Compean has lost his home. He and his wife and children have been forced to move in with relatives. Agent Ramos' home is in foreclosure.

Terror and Injustice

Ignacio Ramos, who served seven years in the Navy and 10 years on the Border Patrol, was nominated for Border Patrol Agent of the Year in 2005. (Photo courtesy of Friends of the Border Patrol.)
For their 15-minute pursuit of Aldrete-Davila on February 17, 2005, and for a couple of split-second decisions they made during that suspenseful chase, agents Ramos and Compean have lost a combined 15-year record of sterling service in the Border Patrol (10 years for Ramos, five for Compean). Even more, that 15-minute pursuit in the line of duty may cost each of them 20 years in prison, possibly alongside dangerous criminals they have apprehended.

Adding terror on top of calamity, both agents and their families have been subjected to death threats. In fact, according to the smuggler Aldrete-Davila, some of his drug-cartel associates from Mexico planned a "hunting party" to track down and execute Ramos and Compean. Both of these law enforcement officers have young school-age and preschool-age children. Agent Compean's wife, Claudia, is pregnant with their third child.

Incredibly, while agents Ramos and Compean and their families face economic ruin, emotional devastation, and real physical danger, as a result of that 15-minute chase, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila - an admitted felon and drug smuggler - has not only gotten off scot-free, he stands to become a rich man, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers. In a seemingly unbelievable turn of events, agents for the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security contacted the smuggler in Mexico and offered him complete immunity if he would testify that Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean had violated his civil rights.

The two Border Patrol officers were arrested in SWAT-style raids on their homes and taken away in handcuffs in front of their families. By way of contrast, Aldrete-Davila, in exchange for agreeing to testify against the agents, was given free medical treatment in the United States, then escorted back to Mexico and released. He was also coached in his testimony by U.S. government officials, then brought back to the United States and trotted out as the star witness against Ramos and Compean.

In the meantime, during his release, Aldrete-Davila was arrested again with another drug load in the same El Paso sector where Ramos and Compean had previously intercepted him. Nevertheless, he was allowed to testify against the two agents and then was released again! He may have made many more successful drug runs into the United States since then. But he may be able to retire soon in the style of his drug-lord bosses. With encouragement and help from U.S. officials, he is suing the Border Patrol for $5 million.

Many are outraged by what from all appearances is a colossal miscarriage of justice. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are calling for an investigation, and a national grass-roots campaign has stirred tens of thousands of Americans to call on President Bush to intervene and grant full pardon to agents Ramos and Compean.

Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), who served as a prosecutor for eight years and a judge for 22 years, questions Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Kanof's granting of immunity to a repeat felon with a huge financial interest to lie to prosecute federal law enforcement agents who were doing their jobs. "That's exactly what the overzealous prosecutor did in this case. No question about it," Rep. Poe told CNN's Casey Wian on August 21. "In my opinion, the government was on the wrong side. We ought to be more concerned about our border agents who were put in harm's way, who are shot at by these drug dealers than we are about the civil rights of the drug smugglers."


Killers or Conscientious Agents?


In a press release of August 11, 2006, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton stated that Ramos and Compean "were prosecuted because they had fired their weapons at a man who had attempted to surrender by holding his open hands in the air, at which time Agent Compean attempted to hit the man with the butt of Compean's shotgun, causing the man to run in fear of what the agents would do to him next. Although both agents saw that the man was not armed, the agents fired at least 15 rounds at him while he was running away from them, hitting him once." But that version of events was based on the word of the smuggler.

The agents were charged with assault with intent to commit murder, assault with serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, and a civil rights violation. On March 8, 2006, a federal jury convicted Compean and Ramos of all but the charge of assault with intent to commit murder. They were also convicted of four counts and two counts, respectively, of obstruction of justice for failing to file a report on the shooting and for destruction of the crime scene by picking up Compean's spent shell casings.

Andy Ramirez, chairman of the private, California-based Friends of the Border Patrol, began investigating the Ramos-Compean case shortly after charges were filed in March of 2005. He has since become an official spokesman for the two agents and their families. "This is the greatest miscarriage of justice I have ever seen," Andy Ramirez told The New American. "This drug smuggler has fully contributed to the destruction of two brave agents and their families and has sent a very loud message to the other Border Patrol agents: if you confront a smuggler, this is what will happen to you."

Ramirez says that when he began his investigation he hadn't ruled out the possibility that the agents were guilty of the crimes as charged. "If these were really bad guys, then obviously, we would want them prosecuted, because it's important to root out corruption, especially in law enforcement agencies like the Border Patrol," he said. "I'm not the least bit interested in protecting corrupt or violent agents." However, he was soon convinced that many things were terribly wrong with this case and that the two agents in question were being railroaded for a political agenda.

"Agents Ramos and Compean are the kind of guys you want in the foxhole next to you," says Ramirez. "They're poster boys for the kind of Border Patrol agents we want and need to protect our borders." He points out that Ramos was nominated for Border Patrolman of the Year in 2005, but that nomination was scratched after the Aldrete-Davila charges were filed against him. Ramos served seven years in the Navy before joining the Border Patrol. Compean served four years in the Navy.

"These men served their country honorably and bravely - in the military and on the border - and have compiled sterling records," Ramirez points out. "They've arrested thousands of illegal aliens and made many drug seizures. There's nothing from their records to support Davila's charges that they tried to murder him. If you take away the testimony of Davila, an acknowledged career criminal with a huge financial interest involved, all you have against these agents are a couple of administrative charges that would normally be five to ten-day suspensions, usually referred to as 'time on the beach.'"

During the trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Kanof emphasized the agents' failure to obey pursuit and reporting policies. "They didn't report the shots being fired," Kanof accused, painting a picture of cover up by the two agents. "It is a violation of Border Patrol regulations to go after someone who is fleeing," she said. "The Border Patrol pursuit policy prohibits the [vehicular] pursuit of someone."

However, according to Ramos, his pursuit of Aldrete-Davila was no different from what he's done in the past 10 years as a Border Patrol agent. "How are we supposed to follow the Border Patrol strategy of apprehending terrorists or drug smugglers if we are not supposed to pursue fleeing people?" he told the Ontario, California, Daily Bulletin. "Everybody who's breaking the law flees from us. What are we supposed to do? Do they want us to catch them or not?"

According to active and retired agents The New American has talked to, the official pursuit policy is universally viewed as an "asinine" cave-in to political correctness by the Washington, D.C., bureaucrats and is regularly disregarded by line officers and their supervisors who recognize that it would be impossible to do their jobs of securing our border otherwise.

Andy Ramirez notes that "this case is not an isolated incident. This is just the most egregious example in an ongoing campaign of intimidation and humiliation of Border Patrol line officers by Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar, Assistant Border Patrol Chief Luis Barker and others" appointed by the Bush administration.

With ludicrous orders like their "no pursuit" policy, the agency's top officials "have essentially told the field to 'stand down,'" Ramirez says. "President Bush, Aguilar, and Barker repeatedly assure us that the border security is dramatically improving, when that is absolutely, demonstrably false. And one of the worst things they are doing is destroying the morale of the Border Patrol and the will of agents to do the tough job we train them to do. A lot of the agents are saying now, 'We don't want to be the next Ramos and Compean.'"

Retired Border Patrol Supervisor David Stoddard, a Border Patrol veteran of 27 years, agrees that this ruling will devastate the agency, if allowed to stand. "This is outrageous. Every American should be incensed," he says. "This whole incident tells the Border Patrol agents all over the country it's better to go out to their area of responsibility and bring a portable DVD player and watch a movie, because that way you won't get into trouble."


The Strange Alliance


Andy Ramirez, David Stoddard, Rep. Ted Poe, Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), and others who have looked into the Ramos-Compean case are especially upset by the many troubling "irregularities" and abuses of the federal prosecutors. A chain of remarkable events began shortly after Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila had fled back into Mexico. The wounded smuggler contacted an old boyhood friend of his, Rene Sanchez, now living in Willcox, Arizona. Sanchez, it turns out, had not only become a U.S. citizen, but had become a Border Patrol agent. And his loyalty to his childhood buddy and/or to his native Mexico apparently superseded his loyalty to America, to his fellow Border Patrol officers, and to his oath to uphold the laws of his adopted country.

According to court testimony, Aldrete-Davila, following the advice of Sanchez, turned himself in to the U.S. Consulate in Mexico. Sanchez also secured an attorney for Aldrete-Davila, helped negotiate his immunity, and coached him on his court testimony, such as suggesting that Aldrete-Davila say he was shot in the back. (Court testimony and evidence showed that Aldrete-Davila was shot in the side of his buttocks, consistent with Agent Ramos' testimony that Aldrete-Davila was in a "bladed stance," pointing a gun at him.) Sanchez also helped arrange for Aldrete-Davila to receive complete (and free taxpayer-supported) medical treatment at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso.

It is noteworthy that at trial Sanchez and Aldrete-Davila contradicted each other on many points of fact, yet Sanchez and Aldrete-Davila were still considered credible witnesses by the Department of Justice prosecutors. (As just one example, agent Sanchez insisted he hadn't spoken with Aldrete-Davila in years; Aldrete-Davila said they had been in frequent contact.)

The same prosecutors went to great lengths to suppress vital information during the trial, such as testimony by another Border Patrol agent who had warned superiors of suspicions that agent Rene Sanchez was tied in to the Mexican drug cartels. The agent was reprimanded, intimidated, silenced, and transferred to another sector.

During the trial it was revealed that DHS agent Christopher Sanchez, who along with Rene Sanchez shepherded Aldrete-Davila through his legal process, had learned that Aldrete-Davila's drug cartel associates had made plans to put together a "hunting party" to kill agents Ramos and Compean, and their families, in retaliation for the drug bust involving Aldrete-Davila. Sanchez admitted he had not reported this to his DHS superiors or any other U.S. law enforcement agency, a serious violation of legal and moral responsibility to fellow human beings and law enforcement officers.

Judge Kathleen Cardone repeatedly sided with the federal prosecutors in suppressing evidence favorable to agents Ramos and Compean and unfavorable toward Aldrete-Davila and the prosecutors. "The jurors were severely handicapped in that they were not given access to the truth, to the real story," says Andy Ramirez. Among the evidence suppressed at the trial that may have made a major impact on jurors:

  • The sealed indictment of Aldrete-Davila from his arrest for drug smuggling in October 2005, after the incident when he was supposedly the victim of agents Ramos and Compean.
  • Aldrete-Davila's multiple violations of his immunity agreement, such as agreeing to not withhold any information, then refusing to divulge the names of his fellow smugglers who picked him up at the border.
  • Evidence on the increasing violence and attacks on Border Patrol agents and incursions by Mexican military units in the El Paso sector.
  • Agent Ramos' distinguished record and nomination as Border Patrol Agent of the Year.

The federal government broke the rules, Ramirez says, in order to break these agents and to cover up a massive nest of corruption in the highest levels of the federal government.

Although agents Ramos and Compean will appeal their convictions, they face the possibility of years in prison while their appeals are being adjudicated. That is why Ramirez and other supporters are calling for concerned Americans to contact President George W. Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, urging them to intercede on behalf of agents Ramos and Compean. "If the administration can advocate amnesty for millions of illegal aliens and give immunity to a career felon drug smuggler," says Ramirez, "what could be so difficult about granting a full pardon to two honorable law enforcement officers who are being crucified not for having done anything wrong, but for doing exactly what they have been trained for and have taken an oath to do?"

(UPDATED, Oct. 19) What You Can Do

In response to citizen outrage, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.), a member of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims, have called for a congressional investigation of the Ramos-Compean case. Petition efforts are underway calling upon President Bush to pardon agents Ramos and Compean.

On October 19, Agent Ramos was sentenced to 11 years in prison and Agent Compean to 12 years. They are now free on bond but must surrender on January 17. They are appealing the case.


Action Request (Updated February 10, 2007):



Help build pressure on President Bush to pardon Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

For contact information and to send editable, pre-written letters via e-mail, log on to



Copyright 2007, The New American. 


Another related article:


Punished for Doing Their Job: As two Border Patrol agents languish in prison, the Department of Homeland Security is doing its best not to answer charges of wrongful, politically motivated prosecution.


February 19, 2007


By Sam Antonio


The New American

To submit a Letter to the Editor: [email protected]



Sam Antonio is the John Birch Society's national spokesman on immigration.

On January 10, 2007, President Bush, in a prime-time address to the nation, lobbied for his new Iraq War policy, which included more troops and strengthening the interior borders of Iraq. This while at home he ignores securing our own borders and demoralizes our brave men and women of the Border Patrol who protect it.

Case in point: on January 17, 2007, former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean surrendered to U.S. Marshals inside the federal courthouse in downtown El Paso, Texas. As the agents' family members and supporters bitterly protested outside the courthouse, Ramos and Compean were placed in jail cells to begin serving their prison sentences. Agent Ramos has been sentenced to 11 years, agent Compean to 12 years.

Leading up to the day of the agents' imprisonment was a devastating 23-month ordeal. The agents' families have been bankrupted. They have lost their homes and are living with relatives. Their children will grow up without their fathers' guiding hands.

Making matters worse, the two agents are being sent to separate facilities far from home: Ramos to a prison in Mississippi, Compean to one in Ohio. This will not only make visits by their families more difficult and expensive, but will add to the families' anxiety over Ramos, and Compean's safety. Prisons are especially unfriendly places for inmates who are former law enforcement officers.

"I'm so utterly exhausted, tired and sad," Patty Compean told the Daily Bulletin of Ontario, California, on the day that the heavy jail-cell door slammed shut on her husband. Nevertheless, she said, "I still have a deep faith in God. I still believe there is hope." Part of that hope is that President Bush will respond to the urgent requests of dozens of members of Congress and to the hundreds of thousands of calls, letters, e-mails, and petitions calling for him to pardon her husband and the husband of Monica Ramos.


Miscarriage of Justice


What egregious crimes did agents Ramos and Compean commit to land in this situation? To have their promising careers ended, to be stripped of their freedom, to be torn from their families, to have their lives put in danger? They tried to stop a drug smuggler who had brought nearly 800 pounds of marijuana (worth nearly $1 million) across the border from Mexico in his van. The smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, scuffled with agent Compean, knocking him down and throwing dirt in his eyes. Compean says that as Aldrete-Davila ran on foot back toward Mexico, the drug smuggler turned several times and it appeared that the smuggler was pointing a gun at him. Compean fired at the fleeing suspect. Agent Ramos, hearing the shots and seeing his battered and bloody partner, also fired at the smuggler. However, they saw Aldrete-Davila wade across the shallow Rio Grande to the Mexican side, apparently unhurt. They watched as he climbed into another vehicle and assumed that their shots had completely missed him.

Unbeknownst to the Border Patrol agents, one of their bullets had struck the smuggler in the buttocks. Also unbeknownst to them, Mexican drug smuggler Aldrete-Davila is a boyhood buddy of Border Patrol agent Rene Sanchez, a naturalized Mexican who is suspected of ties to the Mexican drug cartels. Agent Sanchez encouraged Aldrete-Davila to bring a lawsuit against agents Ramos and Compean for violating his "civil rights." Incredibly, instead of investigating agent Sanchez and his ties to Aldrete-Davila, agents of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were sent to Mexico to find Aldrete-Davila, offer him immunity and free medical care, and bring him back to testify against agents Ramos and Compean.

Even more incredible, DOJ and DHS officials have helped Aldrete-Davila launch a lawsuit for $5 million against the U.S. Border Patrol. A key charge in the federal government's case against Ramos and Compean is that the two agents fired on an "unarmed" fleeing suspect: Aldrete-Davila. Agents Ramos and Compean say Aldrete-Davila was armed. The government says it has proof he wasn't. Their proof? The testimony of Aldrete-Davila, who has at least five million incentives to lie!

There are sound reasons for taking the word of these two decorated and highly regarded Border Patrol agents over that of the drug smuggler. Last fall, the Daily Bulletin interviewed a member of Aldrete-Davila's family in El Paso who confirmed that Aldrete-Davila has been smuggling drugs since he was 14 and "wouldn't move drugs unless he had a gun on him."

While Aldrete-Davila was waiting to testify against Ramos and Compean, he was arrested attempting to bring another load of drugs into the country. No problem: the prosecutors set him free again and suppressed mention of his drug arrest, so as not to harm his courtroom "credibility."

We do not have space here to detail the many other shocking abuses by federal prosecutor Debra Kanof, Judge Kathleen Cardone, and the Department of Homeland Security. Many of those were examined in more depth in this magazine's earlier investigation of this case.* Suffice to say, the offenses have been serious enough that a bipartisan array of House and Senate members have called for investigations of the trial and sentencing and have urged President Bush to pardon the Border Patrol agents.

Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), who served as a judge for 22 years and a prosecutor for eight years, expressed the views of many when he charged Kanof with being an "overzealous prosecutor." "In my opinion," said Rep. Poe, "the government was on the wrong side. We ought to be more concerned about our border agents who were put in harm's way, who are shot at by these drug dealers than we are about the civil rights of the drug smugglers."


Chilling Effect on Border


Andy Ramirez, chairman of the California-based Friends of the Border Patrol, told The New American that the Compean/Ramos case "is the greatest miscarriage of justice I have ever seen." Moreover, says Ramirez, it "has sent a very loud message to the other Border Patrol agents: if you confront a smuggler, this is what will happen to you."

Other immigration experts agree that the ramifications of the Compean/Ramos case extend far beyond the personal tragedies of the two agents and their families; the impact is already having a serious effect on our border security. Bob Stille, who served 37 years in the Border Patrol and INS, recently told The New American that the prosecution of Ramos and Compean has sent shudders through the ranks of the Border Patrol. "As a lifelong Republican and a conservative Christian, I am outraged that a Republican president who postures as a conservative Christian would so unjustly prosecute these two agents for what I see as doing their job." "From comments I have heard by the present-day agents, there is a serious morale problem in the Border Patrol."

Stille said, "I am seeing men and women retiring with a minimum amount of service time. I have also been told that there will be a rash of retirements this year, many by top staff officers. My impression is that there is a lot of sadness within the ranks."

Mr. Stille, who spent the last 19 years of his career as a supervisory agent in charge of four different Border Patrol stations on both the Mexican and Canadian borders, says: "I attribute the morale problem to the open-border policy by the Bush administration. I have heard of incidents where agents are told to look the other way. They are not allowed to arrest illegal aliens who have gained entry.... We are under an illegal-alien crime wave in this country and our primary enforcement arm is being restrained from doing their duty. Or worse, as in the case of Ramos and Compean, going to prison for doing their duty."

The blow to agent morale is multiplied, says Stille, by the president's insistence on granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and issuing pardons to street criminals. (See the sidebar at the bottom of this page.) "When I read that President Bush pardoned a bunch of convicted criminals this past Christmas, some of whom were convicted drug dealers, I was incensed," he told The New American. "What a slap in the face to the brave men and women in the Border Patrol when they saw two of their own denied the same."

After receiving enormous pressure from concerned patriotic organizations and Congress, the White House was forced to respond. While President Bush primarily regurgitated the same dodges and disinformation that the DOJ had been dispensing, he did hold out the possibility of a future pardon.

"According to a jury of their peers, these officers violated some standards," Bush said, in a January 18 interview with an El Paso TV station the day after agents Ramos and Compean turned themselves in to federal custody. "People need to take a tough look at the facts, the evidence a jury looked at, as well as [the] judge. And I will do the same thing."

But the American people and their elected representatives are taking "a tough look at the facts" - at least at the facts the Bush administration has been willing to release. What President Bush and the DOJ are attempting to keep carefully hidden is that, in addition to the prosecutorial and judicial abuses mentioned above, three members of the Ramos/Compean jury say they were misled during jury deliberation. Jurors Robert Gourley, Claudia Torres, and Edine Woods have said that they did not want to support a guilty verdict for the Border Patrol agents and would have held out for a hung jury, except that they were improperly instructed that that was not an option. They said they were instructed by the jury foreman - who claimed to be relaying instructions from the judge - that they "must" vote to convict the agents. The agents' attorneys and members of Congress cited these charges by the jurors, along with the other alleged improprieties, as cause for postponing the sentencing of Ramos and Compean while the case is appealed and while Congress investigates the allegations.

On January 19, Rep. Michael T. McCaul (R-Texas), the immediate past chairman of the Homeland Security Investigations Subcommittee of the House of Representatives, sent a letter to his Texas delegation colleagues, urging them to join his efforts "in uncovering the facts surrounding the conviction and sentencing" of agents Ramos and Compean. "During the last five months," McCaul states in his letter, "due to my deep concern over the fate of these Agents, I have relentlessly requested information detailing the facts surrounding this case from both the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and the Department of Justice. To date, both Agencies have defied the will of Congress and refused to cooperate meaningfully with my efforts to uncover the truth."

McCaul's letter then details date by date his multiple requests of, and communications and meetings with, DHS and DOJ officials - and their string of broken promises, changing stories, and stalling tactics.

The McCaul letter relates a meeting he and three other House members had on September 28 during which they were briefed by the DHS Deputy Inspector General and Assistant Inspector General. At the briefing, the officers of the Inspector General made several serious allegations against agents Ramos and Compean that they said they would subsequently document for the congressmen.

One of those charges, according to McCaul, is that "Ramos and Compean confessed to knowingly shooting an unarmed suspect. Again - they claim the two agents KNEW he was unarmed when they fired their weapons." Another charge, says Rep. McCaul, is that "Ramos and Compean stated that day they 'wanted to shoot a Mexican.'"

Agents Ramos and Compean deny these and the other charges made by members of the Inspector General. However, the DHS Inspector General officers told the congressmen that the Inspector General's Report of Investigation would corroborate these charges and that the report would be released on October 23, 2006, the day after the sentencing of the agents. Rep. McCaul and his colleagues are still waiting for the long overdue evidence, but they now realize that the administration has "no intention" of providing the promised report. Rep. McCaul and other Members of Congress also requested (and were promised) transcripts of the trial around the same time. Like the Inspector General report, they have been repeatedly stalled on this matter too, and still have not received the trial transcript.

On January 18, 2007, says McCaul, "I spoke personally to DHS Secretary Chertoff to express my disbelief and anger that DHS IG has made potentially misleading claims to Members of Congress and not provided substantiating documentation as promised." Secretary Chertoff told McCaul that he would personally speak to Inspector General Skinner. "It is patently clear to me, after five months of delay by the Department of Homeland Security, that they have no intention of providing the information I requested to get to the facts surrounding the case."


National Uproar


In response to the uproar this case has generated, 70 congressmen have signed on to legislation introduced on January 18 by Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) calling for the convictions of Ramos and Compean to be vacated and for the two agents be released from custody immediately.

In a press release issued on the introduction of H.R. 563, Hunter said, "Agents Compean and Ramos fulfilled their responsibilities as Border Patrol agents and rightfully pursued a suspected and fleeing drug smuggler. It is irresponsible to punish them with jail time." Rep. Tom Tancredo, meanwhile, has introduced House Concurrent Resolution 37, expressing "the sense of Congress that the President should swiftly and unconditionally pardon Agents Ramos and Compean."

When asked why the White House refuses to intervene on behalf of the two agents, Andy Ramirez of Friends of the Border Patrol told The New American, "This administration is so predictable when it comes to everybody but American citizens. President Bush is always talking about securing Iraq's borders, securing Afghanistan's borders, but never our borders." Ramirez points also to the president's State of the Union address on January 23, where Bush once again employed his trademark immigration double-talk, claiming to be opposed to amnesty while proposing a legalization program that is the same thing as amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. In the same address, President Bush also reiterated his call for a "temporary worker program" that would bring hundreds of thousands of additional alien workers (and their families) into the United States, further swamping our already overwhelmed immigration system.

Perhaps Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) put this whole distorted scenario into perspective when he stated, "They [the Bush administration] got their priorities totally backwards. We should be backing up our defenders, finding reasons to help our defenders, and finding reasons to put the bad guys away. Our President is treating the bad guys like good guys and the good guys like bad guys."

Americans still have an opportunity to help insure that this perverse injustice is reversed, that our government will stop treating these good guys like bad guys. President Bush is not likely to grant agents Ramos and Compean pardons out of personal conviction; his inaction in their case thus far and his actions regarding immigration matters, in general, make that all too clear. But he may be convinced to do so out of expediency since he is now under tremendous pressure over the war, the economy, and other issues, and desperately needs to placate conservatives who have been his staunchest supporters.

A pardon is important for righting a terrible wrong against agents Ramos and Compean and their families. It is also vitally important to our nation's security, as it will send a message to our Border Patrol agents on the front lines that they can go back to the crucial job of enforcing our borders and protecting our homeland without fear of being thrown to the wolves.


Action Request:



Help build pressure on President Bush to pardon Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

* See "Betrayed in the Line of Duty" in our September 18, 2006 issue.


GOP Congressmen Speak


"Today is a day of infamy and disgrace. The policies set down by this president [are] sending the defenders of our borders to prison while rewarding illegal alien drug smugglers. Shame on you, President Bush. You have betrayed us and our defenders." - Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.)

"Due to significant concerns over the circumstances surrounding the prosecution of agents Ramos and Compean, the House Judiciary Committee has already recognized the need for a thorough review of this case by calling for congressional hearings and an investigation of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the U.S. Attorney's Office." - September 13, 2006, letter signed by 22 congressmen

"If the facts I have laid out are accurate, then this prosecution puts the rights of illegal alien drug smugglers ahead of our homeland security and undermines the critical mission of better enforcing current immigration laws." - Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)

"All I say is that Mr. President, if you're going to consider Mr. Kennedy's amnesty for 12 million illegal aliens, couldn't you just add two more border patrol agents onto that list?" - Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.)

"Over the Christmas break, the president of the United States pardoned 18 felons. Five of those people were drug dealers.... But we cannot even get a response to the letters we have sent asking him to pardon the Border Patrol agents. What greater example of where this president's priorities are than that?" - Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.)

"The federal government was on the wrong side in this case. This drug dealer was not just bringing in a little bit of marijuana.... What better two people should be pardoned than border agents doing their jobs trying to protect the United States?" - Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas)


Pardons for Drug Dealers

By William F. Jasper

President Bush has thus far ignored the pleas of hundreds of thousands of Americans who petitioned for pardons for agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. However, he has pardoned a number of convicted criminals, including recently. On December 21, 2006, President Bush pardoned these drug offenders:

. Marie Georgette Ginette Briere - possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

. George Thomas Harley - aiding and abetting the distribution of cocaine.

. Patricia Ann Hultman - conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and other controlled substances.

. Eric William Olson - possession with intent to distribute, possession, and use of hashish.

On the same day, Bush also commuted the sentence of Phillip Anthony Emmert, who was serving time for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

On September 28, 2005, President Bush pardoned these drug offenders:

. Adam Wade Graham - conspiracy to deliver LSD.

. Larry Paul Lenius - conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

. Larry Lee Lopez - conspiracy to import marijuana.

. Mark Lewis Weber - selling Quaalude tablets, selling, using and possessing marijuana.

On the same day, he also pardoned Jesse Ray Harvey, a United Mine Workers union member convicted of blowing up mines in West Virginia.



Copyright 2007, The New American.