by Chelsea Schilling
Former federal investigator demands President Bush release Ramos, Compean
Upon hearing that he was one of Barack Obama’s candidates to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement, one federal investigative official’s first act was to write an urgent letter to President Bush – insisting that he pardon former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
Rev. Miguel Contreras, 53, has worked for ICE, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the former Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He is vice president of Christian Alliance Ministries Worldwide and department head of Christian counseling and social work at Northwestern Theological Seminary.
Last month, Contreras announced Obama’s transition team told him he was a candidate for assistant secretary of ICE.
It was then that he decided to write a letter on behalf of the imprisoned agents, the El Paso Times reported. He asked the president to pardon them or reduce their sentences.
“I reviewed everything I could find related to their cases, and based on my extensive experience, Compean and Ramos should be released and reinstated to their former jobs,” he told the Times. “I have not received a response.”
Ramos and Compean are serving 11- and 12-year prison sentences, respectively, for shooting at a fleeing illegal alien drug dealer while he smuggled nearly 750 pounds of marijuana across the border. They were convicted of assault, discharge of a weapon in the commission of a crime of a crime, tampering with an official proceeding and deprivation of civil rights.
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton’s office gave the smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, full immunity from prosecution for agreeing to serve as the government’s star witness and testify against the border agents. A ruling, from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals, affirmed all convictions except for tampering with an official proceeding, which it vacated and remanded for resentencing.
“I don’t know Miguel Contreras, but I am thankful, because every little bit helps,” Joe Loya, Ramos’ father-in-law, told the Times. “We understand more pardons and commutations are coming down Jan. 15, and we are praying Compean and Ramos are included.”
While in office, the president has pardoned or commuted sentences for at least 36 drug dealers, 12 thieves, seven embezzlers, an arsonist, an armed bank robber and an illegal-alien smuggler – but there has been no word on Ramos and Compean. However, Bush has until Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20 to issue his final pardons and commutations before he leaves office.
The agents’ wives told WND they hope God will touch Bush’s heart before that day.
“We have a lot of hope,” Ramos’ wife, Monica, said. “My husband has quite a bit of faith, and we pray a lot. We are hoping the outpouring of support that we have here from people all over the nation is going to help us.”
Compean’s wife, Patty, said her family is also praying for their release.
“You have to believe that God has a plan,” she said. “He will not throw something at you that you cannot handle.”
Patty and Monica said they believe there is still a chance that the president will intervene.
“We’re doing everything we can – everything,” Patty said. “I know I’m not going to quit until it’s over. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not going to be over until he comes home.”
Posted to IPR by Paulie