48 hours of freedom left for 2 border patrol agents: Lady Justice weeps while illegal aliens laugh

“If it can happen to them, it can happen to any one of us. It has definitely had an adverse affect on agents involved in border security.” -Mark Parsons, President, Fraternal Order of Police in El Paso, Texas, Customs and Border Protection agent

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

15 January 2007: By now, everyone in North America, and especially certain Mexicans are familiar with the case of two former Border Patrol agents convicted of causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm and violating the civil rights of a drug smuggler and illegal alien at the U.S. - Mexican border. Absent of a successful appeal or a presidential pardon, former agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos will begin serving their 10-year-plus sentences in federal court this Wednesday. Despite an unprecedented exhibit of support from the public and public officials, including 55 members of Congress and over 175,000 U.S. citizens, President Bush has shown no interest in pardoning these two agents whose sentences will surpass many murderers, rapists and even drug smugglers they have put behind bars. In addition to the obvious, however, the situation involving Compean and Ramos is having a “rippling effect” among border patrol agents and other law enforcement officials who have the increasingly dangerous and difficult task of protecting American citizens.

Mark W. Parsons, the President of the Fraternal Order of Police in El Paso, Texas, and also an agent with Customs and Border Protection told the Northeast Intelligence Network on Sunday that his organization, also representing the federal officers of the West Texas and New Mexico area stands behind and fully supports the agents in their quest for a new trial or pardon. “We stand behind them 110%,” stated Mr. Parsons, who also described how the situation is currently affecting the job performance and morale of law enforcement officers who work every day protecting our country at our southern border. “I don’t think there is any agent who, when handling a breach of security, doesn’t think about the situation of Compean and Ramos and base their actions with a greater degree of reservation for fear that it could any one of them in that position,” stated Agent Parsons.

Mr. Parsons stated that the aggressive prosecution, replete irregularities pertaining to the arrest and trial of the two agents, including but not limited to venue issues, restriction of exculpatory testimony and evidence, government corruption and jury misconduct “has made a lot of agents on the front lines ‘gun shy’ and afraid to do their jobs.” He added that “if this can happen to agents Compean and Ramos, it can happen to any one of us.” It is also sending a strong message to illegal aliens, drug smugglers, and potential terrorists illegally crossing the border into the U.S. everyday. Those involved in illegal border activities see this as a victory for them, endangers the safety and welfare of the officers on the front lines and compromises the safety and security of every man, woman and child in the U.S.

“Morale? What morale? It is as bad as I have ever seen it,” stated Mr. Parsons describing the mood of agents fighting the battle at the border.

At a time in this nation’s history when border security is one of the most important factors in our fight for survival in the war against terrorists, we are sending to border patrol agents to prison, scheduled to serve in excess of a decade behind bars each. Make no mistake, the southern border of the U.S. is a virtual war zone being exploited by enemies of the United States. The demoralizing affect of this lack of prosecutorial discretion in a time of war is questionable at best, begging the questions: how serious are we in securing our borders, and why isn’t the U.S. Department of Justice exercising the same zeal in the prosecution of illegal aliens as they are in punishing those front-line agents who are understaffed, out-gunned, and hamstrung by rules of engagement favoring the criminal?