President Bush's refusal to pardon Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean -- and White House spokesman Tony Snow's attitude of indifference regarding same -- is a slap in the face to families of murder victims slain by convicted felons in the country illegally and to our nation's law-enforcement professionals. John and Barbara March, the parents of former Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff David March, know only too well. Their son was murdered five years ago by Armando Garcia, a twice-convicted felon in the country illegally who had been deported to Mexico three previous times. After murdering Deputy March on April 29, 2002, Garcia then eluded law enforcement by slipping back across the border.
John and Barbara have worked tirelessly the past five years with authorities and politicians on both sides of the border to fight for the extradition of Garcia back to Los Angeles. After appearances on countless radio talk shows, thousands of hours of diplomacy and a myriad of behind-the-scenes political wrangling, Garcia was finally extradited to the United States on Jan. 9 of this year.Now John and Barbara March are committed to a new battle. They are dedicated to the release of Border Agents Ramos and Compean, sentenced to 11 and 12 years, respectively, for shooting a drug smuggler in the buttocks while trying to apprehend him after he had crossed the border illegally.
Appearing as a guest on my radio show just days prior to when the agents were required to report to prison, John March had this to say, "Border Patrol Agent Ignacio Ramos called me today to congratulate me on the extradition of Armando Garcia. Here is a man, scheduled to begin serving an 11-year prison term in just three days and he calls 'me' to congratulate 'me' on my family's good news. What does that tell you about the kind of man Ignacio Ramos is? And I also ask you what kind of message does their arrest and prison sentence send to our nations Border Patrol agents? The message it sends is clear: be careful of what you do while in the line of duty. You just might shoot at a convicted drug felon and end up going to prison."
Steve Spernak, the March family spokesman and a former decorated police officer added: "Had Border Agents stopped Armando Garcia and national laws locked him up as a repeat 'crosser' and convicted felon, their son, David, would be alive today. Same for unknown thousands of Americans, who have been murdered by convicted felons in the country illegally. The majority of victims are Mexican American immigrants in the country legally. This sends a chilling message to all Border Patrol agents and should to all Americans as well."
Rick Amato is a radio talk show host, Washington Times columnist, political commentator and a frequent guest on CNN. 'The Rick Amato Show' is heard on 1170 KCBQ in San Diego. Rick blogs at http://rickmato.townhall.com.
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