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LB Area Congressman Rohrabacher Calls Imprisonment Of Border Patrol Agents Ramos & Compean Betrayal of USA, Won't Endorse Any Presidential Candidate Who Doesn't Publicly Announce There'll Be Pardon, Urges Continued Opposition To White House-Backed Immigration Bill
[Straight Talk TV Executive Producer/Host Art Levine attended the event below and provided the photos and audio material used in our report. In March 2007, Congressman Rohrabacher guested on Straight Talk in an interview accessible on-demand via straighttalktv.com (video, click here, audio, click here) and the June 2007 print edition Straight Talk Reporter includes a guest column by Congressman Rohrabacher (page six of pdf document, click here). Straight Talk and LBReport.com are separately owned and operated.]
|(June 17, 2007) -- At a Saturday rally that drew L.A.-OC media outlets, LB area Congressman Dana Rohrabacher told supporters of imprisoned Border Patrol agents Igancio Ramos and Jose Compean that he won't support any Presidential candidate who doesn't commit to pardoning the two men.|
Rally outside Cong. Rohrabacher's HB field office
Photo credit: Straight Talk TV / Art Levine
"The next President of the Untied States, if they want to be President of the United States, is going to have to publicly announce to get my support that there'll be a pardon for Ramos and Compean," Congressman Rohrabacher said.
Photo credit: Straight Talk TV / Art Levine
|Speaking on the sidewalk outside his field office (PCH/Main St in HB) alongside Joe Loya, father-in-law to imprisoned Border Patrol agent Ramos, Congressman Rohrabacher said:|
Cong. Rohrabacher: My staff went to see officer Ramos in prison a few days ago. This is shameful at what's going on. This man is emaciated. He's lost 25 to 30 to 40 pounds. He has a sickness that's not being treated. this is the most mean spirited, nasty thing that I've ever seen. They'd never let a prisoner be treated this way if he was an Islamic radical trying to destroy America. But our own people, who are out there protecting us, are thrown to the wolves by this President and this administration.
This is a betrayal of the United States of America, and we're not going to let anybody -- I don't care if it's the President of the United States or a prosecuting attorney -- they are not going to get away with this attack on the people of the United States.
The 19-year Congressional incumbent issued what amounted to a call to action against the immigration bill backed by the Bush-administration that stalled in the Senate under a torrent of opposition from border-enforcement-first constituents and lawmakers.
Cong. Rohrabacher: Don't give up. What we won was a battle, and if we are going to win the war to protect our country from an invasion of people who come here illegally, we have got to keep up the pressure. The President is coming back again. The Senate's coming back again. But we are going to mobilize the American people and we will win this fight because it's the patriots who are going to win this battle...
...Don't let up. Don't ever forget the two border patrol agents who are suffering in prison in solitary confinement for us, and we have got to launch our counter-attack next week to blunt this attempt to legalize 15-20 million people who've come here illegally, realizing that if we don't, if we don't do this, if we don't win this battle, ten years from now there will be 50 million more illegals in this country and we will have lost America.
It's time for the patriots to step up. I'm very proud to be standing here with you today with the patriots again who will save America, despite our own President and our own Congress.
|Agent Ramos' father in law, Joe Loya, journeyed from El Paso to attend the event.|
Mr. Loya, interviewed by L.A.'s Spanish language KMEX-TV/34
Photo credit: Straight Talk TV / Art Levine
Mr. Loya thanked Congressman Rohrabacher along with Congressmembers Tom Tancredo (R., CO), Duncan Hunter (R., San Diego), Walter Jones (R., NC), Ted Poe (R., TX), who he said "started this investigation in this case because they saw how dirty it was. They saw that it was a travesty and a miscarriage of justice and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of the Loya family and the Ramos family..."
The Border Patrol agents' cases have become a lightning rod for opponents of the Bush administration's immigration policies...with LB-area Congressman Rohrabacher among the most outspoken.
After spotting a van (subsequently found to contain about 800 pounds of marijuana), agents Ramos and Compean chased and fired shots at its driver who ran back across the border into Mexico...and subsequently said he was hit in the buttocks by a bullet.
The west Texas area's U.S. attorney, an appointee of President Bush, prosecuted the two Border Patrol agents based in part on testimony from the alleged drug smuggler...who was granted immunity from prosecution. Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean were convicted by a federal court jury and sentenced to 11 and 12 year prison terms.
The border-flouting alleged drug smuggler is now suing the U.S. government for $5 million, alleging violation of his civil rights.
The Justice Dept. and other administration officials stand by their actions; the White House has cautioned critics to take a close look at the case; and some Democrats, critical of the Bush administration on other grounds, have put the administration's handling of the matter on their political radar screen.
In March 2007, the chair of the (now Democrat controlled) House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, William Delahunt (D., MA) agreed to Congressman Rohrabacher's request to conduct hearings to explore possible foreign influence in the prosecution of Border Agents Ramos and Compean.
In a release, Cong. Rohrabacher said, "I hope this Administration will more forthright and cooperative than they have been thus far considering all of our requests for information will now be a part of an official subcommittee investigation, culminating with hearings..."
This isn't the first time the CSULB alumnus, former OC Register editorial writer and Reagan White House speech writer has locked horns with members of his own party when their policies ran counter to his conservative/libertarian-leaning views.
While Republicans still had a House majority, Congressman Rohrabacher (whose district includes the Port of LB) defied the White House by leading an effort to block renewal of Most Favored Nation trade status (redubbed Normal Trade Relations) for the Peoples Republic of China. Among those siding with Cong. Rohrabacher were Rep. [now House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi (D., SF) and the late Cong. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D., Carson-LB).
In 2005, the Port of LB's DC lobbyist separately targeted a bill by Cong. Rohrabacher that sought to give ports nationwide unambiguous federal authority to levy container fees, if they wished, to help pay for port security. Cong. Rohrabacher remained unbowed, standing by his proposal to have users, not taxpayers, pay for security costs...and sandpapered Port opposition to it as untenable.
On March 19, 2007, shortly before 10:15 p.m., Cong. Rohrabacher took the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, using time set he'd requested for a "Special Order" speech [time after conclusion of the day's business]. In a blistering address lasting nearly an hour, Cong. Rohrabacher called what happened to agents Ramos and Compean "a sad black mark on this administration in terms of the security of our country, a vile crime which has been committed against two law enforcement officers whose job it has been to protect our families and our communities by keeping control of America's borders..."
Noting that the Justice Dept had sent him a letter citing reasons why the two agents couldn't be released on bond during their appeals, Congressman Rohrabacher said in a mocking tone: "They [Justice Dept. officials] really have to be very specific and they have to follow all the rules. They have to be exactly right in what they are doing"...and pointed out that the Justice Dept. letter to him was addressed to Congresswoman Rohrabacher.
"Well, if they can't get that right, why are they playing with the lives of Ramos and Campeon? If they can't get that right, why is it that if Ramos and Campeon make a little mistake in their procedure, that they get the book thrown at them?" said Congressman Rohrabacher, and continued:
Cong. Rohrabacher: Also let me note this ``Congresswoman Rohrabacher'' letter to me from the Justice Department is just another example of the contempt that this administration has demonstrated time and again for congressional oversight and congressional concerns.
This Attorney General, this President, has time and again, instead of treating the legislative branch as something that deserves the respect that we do deserve, as the presidency deserves, time and again we have been shown contempt. We have had people in communicating to us, we put questions in to the Attorney General and get calls back from people four or five layers down. Here we are getting an answer back from someone who doesn't even know that I am not a ``Congresswoman Rohrabacher.'' Yes, that is contempt, and they will pay the price for that contempt...
President Bush has essentially dismantled our ability to control America's southern border. Any agent who gets in the way will be squashed, as I have said. So much for the President's compassion. So much for his talk about Christian charity. Ramos and Campeon are languishing in solitary confinement. They are being brutalized. There is cruel and unusual punishment being dealt out to them because they dared challenge the President.
I don't want to hear anything more about compassion from a man who lets that happen to our brave defenders, and then focuses us on a far-away war while letting terrorists and drug dealers penetrate our southern border.
...Yes, there is a hidden agenda here. Powerful economic interests want cheap labor. They want an open border. They want illegals who work cheap and who will depress the wages of working Americans, but the out-of-control flow of illegal immigrants is a nightmare at this moment for the American people.
This administration and past administrations and policy-makers and big corporate interests in Washington are so far out of touch and do not understand the reality of what is going on with this issue, and they do not care about the suffering of the American people. These elites, they do not care that illegal immigrants are pulling down the quality of our health care, shutting down emergency rooms. They do not care that they are undermining the quality of education by overcrowding our classrooms. They do not care that they are driving down the wages of middle class working people. They do not care if our criminal justice system is being stretched to the breaking point, that American citizens are now being victimized and murder and raped and robbed by criminal illegal aliens every day...
This case shows why a guest worker program or amnesty program is not even remotely feasible until we can control our southern border. This is a country that cannot or refuses not to stop these illegal aliens that are pouring into our country. This country's policy has not stopped this invasion of our country, and if we do not do this and we do not support those who are protecting us in our southern border, there will be a price to pay.
On 9/11 we suffered a huge loss when people flew airplanes into buildings, but when it is fully understood, and I am sure the message has gone out not just to our border patrol agents but to the drug dealers and the terrorists throughout the world about what the situation is on our southern border, we could end up with a catastrophe in the making. We need to protect our southern border. We need to protect it because that is the protection that we can give to our communities, to our families.
Those border patrol agents, that thin green line of individuals who risk their lives for us, they are our first and last line of defense between chaos and mayhem and murder and the lives of our families.
I would ask that all of us make sure that we let everyone know, our elected officials and the executive branch, the President as well as Members of Congress, know how strongly we feel that Ramos and Campean should be pardoned and that we should protect our southern border and make sure the United States remains safe and secure.
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