Free the Imprisoned Border Agents

America's Border Patrol agents are on the front line of protecting us from terrorists, illegal immigrants, and drug-smugglers.  This is a dangerous assignment and one that shouldn't be taken lightly.

I was disappointed to see the recent situation involving two U.S. Border Patrol Agents who caught a drug-smuggler in the act but are now behind bars.  The two agents, Jose Compean, and Ignacio Ramos, were sentenced last October to multi-year prison terms for shooting Mexican citizen Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila two years ago, believing the suspect had brandished a gun during the encounter. As Aldrete-Davila fled back across the border to Mexico, he left behind a van he was driving, filled with over 740 pounds of marijuana.

In exchange for immunity and at the request of the U.S. Attorney's Office, Aldrete-Davila testified that Compean and Ramos had violated his civil rights in the shooting and had failed to follow Border Patrol procedures. While no illegal actions are beyond the law, this case has gone too far and sets a dangerous precedent for our nation's Border Patrol agents.

I'm a cosponsor of H.R. 563, introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), which calls for the convictions and sentences of the two agents to be vacated, and for a review of the Border Patrol's rules of engagement.  This bill also shows U.S. Border Patrol agents that Congress understands the importance of the work they are doing and that the ability of criminals to get off Scott-free while innocent agents are being arrested will not be tolerated.