Time to step up for the border guard

Posted: Feb 09, 2007 12:00 PM
Time to step up for the border guard

The anguish in Monica Ramos’ voice was clearly evident over the phone.

The wife of jailed border patrol agent Ignacio Ramos had been told by her husband how a group of Hispanic inmates had beaten him bloody a few days earlier. The inmates had watched “America’s Most Wanted” on TV which featured a sympathetic host, John Walsh, telling the tale of the two border patrol agents who shot a low-life drug smuggler in the butt and how those agents wound up with long jail sentences while the drug smuggler was given total immunity and a promise of a few million bucks down the road for his sore fanny.

I had tears in my eyes as I interviewed Mrs. Ramos on my radio show this week and heard her describe how she and her three little boys simply wanted to sing “Happy Birthday” to their husband and father over the phone on his birthday. Instead, they were told how he was stomped, kicked and beaten by some Hispanic thugs.

There is such a stench over this story, on so many levels, that it’s hard to know where to start. Sure, these agents might have done something wrong in covering up the shooting of a violent, border-crossing drug smuggler. But 11 years in jail for these two men? And the smuggler is given immunity, offered a green card, and expects to receive millions?

Congressman Dana Rohrbacher is so mad at this injustice that he almost can’t contain himself. All he wants is for President Bush to grant these two agents a pardon and instead, he hears about Tony Snow telling me how the evidence suggests that these border patrol agents broke the law and those of us who support them “better be careful before rushing to their defense.”

You know things are dicey when a Republican Congressman like Rohrbacher throws around a word like “impeachment” should either of these border patrol agents get killed behind bars.

It seems like it was only for the grace of God that Ignacio Ramos wasn’t beaten to death the other night.

In interviewing Monica Ramos and hearing about the grief and heartache that she and her three little boys are going through, a wild idea occurred to me. Since those of us who support these border patrol agents feel so helpless about what’s happening, I want to step up to the plate and actually do something to help them, at least the Ramos boys, aged 7, 9 and 13.

It seems to me that these children have a right to enjoy a bit of an escape these days. Surely there’s a way to put a smile on their tear-stained faces, a chance to give them a few days of laughter and joy.

I want to send the Ramos family to Disney World.

This week on my radio show, I announced a fundraising effort to help this brave family. My foundation, “Gallagher’s Army” (501c3), is going to send Monica and the three children to the happiest place on earth. I know there’s a legal defense fund being established and I realize there are serious times ahead. But I believe that we can give these children and their mother a few days of happiness, a way to escape the nightmare they’re in by visiting what I consider to be one of the most family-friendly places in the world to experience.

The excitement of helping them is contagious. In the middle of my talk show today, my producer took a call from Houston Astros Manager Phil Garner. He was listening to the radio and wanted to support the family, too. He explained that the Astros hold spring training in Kissimmee, Florida which is near Disney World. He invited us to bring the Ramo family over to the Astros training camp where they can get the red carpet treatment from this compassionate major league baseball manager and his team.

The Houston Astros are now officially my favorite Major League Baseball team.

If you agree with me about the family’s plight, I truly hope you’ll help. Every penny we raise will pay for the Disney World trip for the Ramos family. If our efforts are beyond expectations, any monies left over will go towards helping the family of the other border patrol agent who is imprisoned. And if there’s still money left over, we’ll offer it to the families directly in order to help them through these difficult and awful times, either with living expenses or their legal defense fund.

Please take a moment and go to my foundation website, www.gallaghersarmy.com Any donation you can give will be a gesture that will mean the world to a confused, hurt little family who doesn’t understand why their daddy is in jail and the bad guy went free.

Let’s bring a little bit of sunshine and Disney magic to this family. They deserve it.