A People’s Victory

Posted on Thu 01/22/2009 by

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20090120_borderpatrol_surrendTHE COMMUTATION OF RAMOS AND COMPEAN’S SENTENCES IS A VICTORY FOR THE PEOPLE

Michael Cutler

On Monday, one of my sons excitedly told me to turn on the television because he had heard that former Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean were going to be released. I hurriedly turned on my television and watched with great relief and joy that indeed, those two valiant federal agents who had been, in my judgment, improperly prosecuted and imprisoned were going to be released nearly 10 years earlier than their original sentences would have required.

The fact that these valiant law enforcement officers were arrested and prosecuted as they were, in my judgment, may well have contributed to the reduction in the arrest of illegal aliens by the Border Patrol. I believe that many agents were intimidated by the actions of the prosecutor in this case, Johnny Sutton, and feared that by attempting to carry out their sworn duties, they not only ran the risk of being seriously injured by the ever more violent alien and drug smugglers operating in the lawless border regions of the United States, but that they also ran a serious risk of getting hammered by their own government!

The administration was quick to use the reduction in arrest statistics as supposed “proof” that the borders had been coming under the control of our agents. One could take the cynical perspective that perhaps this is why Ramos and Compean were, in fact, prosecuted: to artificially lower arrest statistics to support the claim that human tidal wave of illegal aliens had been effectively addressed.

If this was the reason that those agents were arrested and prosecuted as they were, then there are other government officials who were far more deserving of getting “free room and board” in a federal prison than were those men.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that in just a few weeks Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean will be going home to their families who had to endure an atrocious situation. President Bush, in his remaining hours as the Commander-in-Chief of not only the military but our federal law enforcement agencies, acted properly, if belatedly, in commuting their sentences.

I believe that many people can justifiably take credit for President Bush’s decision. Journalists such as Jerry Seper of the Washington Times, along with many of his colleagues in the print media who wrote numerous articles about this miscarriage of justice, helped to apply pressure to the administration and alerted the citizens of our nation about this case. A number of broadcast journalists including the late George Putnam, along with Chuck Wilder who succeeded George on his talk show when George passed away last year, spoke often and passionately about this. Among the television journalists who openly discussed this case were Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck.

All of the journalists and talk show hosts who devote themselves to raising such critical issues live up to the requirements of the First Amendment – to help to create an informed and educated electorate. At the end of the day, had many thousands of our fellow citizens had not made the phone calls and sent the telegrams to their elected representatives and to the White House, I believe that President Bush would not have commuted the sentences of Ramos and Compean.

The willingness of members of Congress, from both parties, should be commended for laying down their partisan agendas and speaking out on behalf of those agents.

This matter should serve as an inspiration to We the People – that we can make a difference because in this instance, we did make a difference.

There are those politicians who hate talk radio. They would rather treat the citizens of our nation like mushrooms – keep us in the dark and feed us a lot of manure. But talk radio is vital to the concepts in the First Amendment. If you don’t like what a particular host has to say, you have the right and the freedom to turn the channel. We should never permit our government to turn the channel for us. As I am sure you know, the First Amendment deals with freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right to assemble peaceably. Talk shows and the Internet provide us, in this era, with a meeting place for all Americans and this is absolutely essential for the survival of our democratic republic.

Earlier this week, justice prevailed. We the People played a major role. But the work has only just begun.

There are members of Congress who are, even as you read this commentary, preparing to once again attempt to jam “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” (CIR) down the throat of the American people, despite the fact that the great majority of the citizens of our nation are adamantly opposed to this betrayal of the will of the people. We the People must also prepare to make the difference in the weeks and months ahead.

The new administration is promising us “Change!” We the People must also promise a different sort of “Change:” we must make it abundantly clear that we will never again seek the easy way out and passively allow the government that is supposed to be representative of the citizens of our nation to run roughshod over us.

Our nation must have secure borders. Our nation must create an immigration system that has meaningful integrity. The rampant fraud that has plagued our immigration system represents a significant threat to national security and makes an absolute mockery of those honest and decent immigrants who followed not only the letter of the law but the spirit of the law, as well.

That fraud must be dealt with effectively to protect our nation’s security and to send a clear message that our nation is still a nation of laws. The immigration laws are the first laws most aliens encounter when they enter or seek to enter our country. It has been said that you only get one opportunity to make a first impression – those laws and the ways in which they are enforced and administered often serve to provide that first impression.

It’s time to step up to the plate. Are you ready?

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Michael Cutler is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and a recognized authority who addresses the implications of immigration on national security and criminal justice.

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