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Mr. Speaker, the Federal Government, this body, the body down the hallway, for some time has been talking about amnesty, amnesty for anywhere between 12 million and almost 20 million illegal people in the United States.
Well, I would like to talk about amnesty, but not for people who are illegally in the country, because I am opposed to that. But I would like to talk about amnesty for Americans, citizens, and I only want to talk about amnesty for two of those citizens. They are border agents who have been convicted of so-called civil rights violations of an illegal drug smuggler bringing drugs to the United States.
Two border agents, Compean and Ramos, today went to the penitentiary for 11 and 12 years for doing this. They work on the Texas-Mexico border, a volatile war zone. The border is the second front, and while on duty patrolling the sovereignty of our country, they come across a drug dealer driving a van full of about 780 pounds of marijuana. That does not mean anything, but it is worth a million dollars. That does mean something, something we can relate to.
A confrontation occurs, drug dealer abandons the van, tries to flee back to Mexico, has an altercation with the border agents, shots are fired, he runs to Mexico.
The next thing we find out, our Federal Government chooses to go to Mexico, find this drug dealer, learns that he has been shot, bring him back to America, treat his wounds at American expense, give him a deal, a backroom deal, to testify against the border agents because they did not follow some policy of reporting shots being fired. So they go to court, give the drug dealer amnesty, give the drug dealer immunity.
While waiting to testify, the old drug dealer goes back to Mexico and picks up another load of dope, almost 1,000 pounds of drugs, gets caught by different border agents. Once again, not prosecuted by the Federal Government because the Federal Government is so determined to prosecute border agents, not drug dealers; and after the trial, the border agents were convicted, and now they went to the penitentiary.
Our Federal Government had a choice to make in this case, whether or not to stand on the side of the lawless drug dealer or stand with our border agents who try to enforce the rule of law. Our government chose poorly. They sided with the enemy. They sided with the outlaws. They sided with illegal drug dealers and prosecuted our border agents. I ask the question, why?
If the border agents violated some policy or rule, suspend them, give them days off, demote them, but send them to the penitentiary for 12 years when the drug dealer goes free? This does not pass the smell test or, as we say in Texas, that dog just don't hunt, Mr. Speaker.
So we are asking a very simple thing, some of us from Congress, about 55. We are asking the President to grant amnesty to these two border agents. The administration, Federal Government, talks about amnesty. We just want it for two folks, and the President has the constitutional power to pardon and parole. The President exercised that power, that is his right under the Constitution, almost 100 times in the last 6 years. We are simply asking that the administration exercise the pardon power and pardon these two border agents and send the message to the Border Patrol and all these sheriffs who work on the border, trying to enforce the law, that we will stand beside you when you try and enforce the law; and also send the message to drug dealers that we are not going to work with you, we are not giving you a deal, we do not work backroom deals with drug dealers; we support our Border Patrol on the Texas-Mexico border.
So, Mr. Speaker, we hope that we get a response from the Federal Government on this pardon. So far, we have not received anything. I think the Federal Government is blissfully indifferent to the plight of these two border agents, and so we would hope that this gets some attention from folks across the country. Over 200,000 people have signed petitions asking that the President pardon both of these border agents; and we hope that that does occur because justice in this case did not occur, because our government chose to be on the wrong side of the border.
And that's just the way it is, Mr. Speaker.