Somebody, please help me understand our wacky border enforcement policies. According to news reports, here's what we are dealing with:
1) We have 6,000 National Guardsmen on the border. In recent months, the news has reported guardsmen being approached at a station by armed illegals. Once, the guardsmen had rocks thrown at them. On another occasion, they were fired at and quickly left the scene. Most recently, they were approached by armed smugglers and called the Border Patrol to have them take care of it.
Now, why do we have the National Guard on the border? Installing a camera would be a lot cheaper.
2) US Attorney Johnny Sutton prosecuted Texas Deputy Sheriff Hernandez for firing on a van full of illegals that witnesses said tried to run him down. Instead of throwing the illegals in jail, all were given amnesty in exchange for giving bogus testimony against Hernandez.
Border Patrol agent David Sipe's conviction was recently overturned. Seven years ago, Sipe, along with his partner and two other agents, responded to a motion sensor alarm finding 12-15 illegal aliens crossing the border. Most of the illegals surrendered, but several ran into a patch of tall dense reeds. Sipe stated he struggled with a man and hit him over the head with his flashlight in order to subdue him. US Attorney Mervyn Mosbacker Jr. prosecuted the case and prevailed by bribing drug smugglers to testify against Sipe and then lied to the court about it. Mosbacker promised the smugglers Social Security cards, witness fees, permits allowing travel to and from Mexico and travel to North Carolina, living expenses and free use of government phones. He then lied to the court with a written affidavit stating that no promises or advantages were given to the illegals. The appeals court ruled that this, along with failing to disclose that coyote smuggler, Guevara, was caught by Border Patrol agents smuggling illegal aliens and was released because he showed them his 'get out of jail card' given to him by Mosbacker—kind of a 'gotcha' moment, was enough to overturn the conviction. Of course, Guevara had already been given $80,000 of our tax money to purchase a nice ranch in Mexico.
Not surprisingly, Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean are being tried by the same prosecutor who has been using the same techniques he used on Sipe. Ramos and Compean were convicted of shooting drug smuggler, Osvaldo Aldrete, while he was smuggling 743 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. Aldrete was given immunity from prosecution for testifying against the agents, given free passage back and forth across the border, flown to the United States for medical treatment, and allowed to continue his smuggling activities.
Interestingly, this does not appear to be simply an issue with one overly-aggressive federal prosecutor. The US Department of Homeland Security has admitted it lied to Congress when DHS Inspector General Richard L. Skinner testified before the Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee admitting that the charges he and his agency brought against the agents were false and that DHS agents had fabricated the evidence used to convict Compean and Ramos. Skinner said that his DHS agents had "misinformed" Congress. Skinner has also said that his staff lied to him and other lawmakers several months ago when they claimed Ramos and Compean were rogue cops and had bragged before the incident that they wanted "to shoot a Mexican," and that the statements were unsubstantiated.
3) The Bush administration wants to grant amnesty for all the illegals already here. Gabby Giffords wants to punish employers for hiring illegal aliens. Neither seems to want to close the border to drug smugglers and terrorists. And I'm sorry, Gabby, but, as far as we know, drug smugglers and terrorists don't seem to predominate the meat packing plants.
Some are pretty worked up about the situation. Congressman Culberson, of Texas, has called for the Skinner and his deputies to resign. Congressman Rohrabacher, from California, threatened to push for impeachment of President Bush if either Ramos or Camean is killed in prison. And there appears to be plenty of support for pardoning both agents suggesting others feel something isn't quite right.
It appears that those most charged with securing our borders are more concerned about preventing it. Maybe someone can explain this to me. Is the problem simply gross incompetence, or is there something else going on? It all seems pretty wacky no matter how I look at it.