This weekend Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) received the Border Defender of the Year Award at the Friends of the Border Patrol Conference and Awards Luncheon in San Diego, California.

Congressman Poe was honored by the Friends of the Border Patrol because of his outspokenness on border security and illegal immigration, his support of law enforcement and his leading efforts to exonerate and pardon convicted El Paso Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean reported to federal prison to begin serving 11 and 12 year prison terms, respectively, this month. The case has garnered national attention because of the harsh prosecution and unjust conviction of the agents for shooting a fleeing illegal drug smuggler during analtercation after over 740 pounds (over $1 million street value) of marijuana was discovered in his van near the border.

I am proud to receive this award, said Congressman Poe. One of my priorities in Congress has been to draw attention to the lawlessness on the border and the fight our border agents and border sheriffs fight each and every day. We must keep attention on our borders and on our nations lack of a realistic border protection policy. Its chaos when our government seems to be more concerned about illegals and drug dealers than they are about America and Americans.

Congressman Poes efforts on behalf of Agents Ramos and Compean:

January 19, 2007Congressman Ted Poe requests previously unreleased information on the case from the Department of Homeland Securitys Office of Inspector General (OIG) under the Freedom of Information Act after the OIG reneged on a 2006 agreement to provide an investigative report to Rep. Poe and other members of the Texas Congressional Delegation.

January 18, 2007Congressman Poe co-sponsors the Ramos and Compean Act sponsored by Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) seeking a congressional pardon for Agents Ramos and Compean.

January 16, 2007Congressman Poes office sends petitions on behalf of Grassfire.org to the White House with more that 200,000 signatures requesting the president pardon Border Agents Ramos and Compean.

January 10, 2007Congressman Poes office circulates a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for Members signatures requesting the Justice Department to direct the federal prosecutors to not oppose a motion filed in court to keep the agents free on bond during the appeals process. Several discrepancies in the governments case strongly question whether justice has been served and permitting these men to be incarcerated in the interim puts their lives at risk.

December 6, 2006Congressman Poes office and Congressman Dana Rohrabachers (R-CA) office along with more that 40 co-signers send a letter to President Bush requesting the sentences of Mr. Ramos and Mr. Compean be commuted.

December 1, 2006Congressman Poes office sends a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Sensenbrenner requesting the House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee hold a hearing to examine the convictions of Border Agents Ramos and Compean.

September 26, 2006Texas U.S. Representatives Poe, McCaul, Culberson and Marchant meet with the Department of Homeland Security Inspector Generals office on Capitol Hill to discuss the Ramos and Compean cases. A request is made for additional information relating to the cases.

Congressman Poe has visited the Texas/Mexico Border numerous times and hosted meetings on behalf of the Texas Border Sheriffs in Washington, DC. Additionally, Congressman Poe is a leading advocate for border security and law enforcement, speaking out on the floor of the House of Representatives almost daily about the violence and lawlessness along our borders and the threat our nations border agents face daily.

A former criminal court judge for more than 22 years, Congressman Poe serves on the International Relations Committee, Terrorism and Non Proliferation Subcommittee and the Congressional Border Security Caucus. Website address: poe.house.gov