Dear President Bush:
Please accept the gratitude of my family and millions of others for keeping our nation safe from further attacks from those who wish us harm. Public opinion has not been kind to you during the past several years, and we appreciate your strength and determination to do what is right for our country despite the unpopularity it generates for you. We are grateful foryour faith, which guides your decisions, and gives you the courage to do what is right.
We believe history will be much kinder to you than current public opinion, and indeed will show that you have created a remarkable and honorable legacy. My husband and I are both veterans, and we couldn't have been prouder to have you serving as Commander-in-Chief of the greatest military in the world. We appreciate your leadership in urging Americans to recognize the sacrifices that are made by our military families.
I am writing to ask for your mercy and compassion, respectfully urging you to issue pardons to Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. These men are currently serving prison terms of 12 and 11 years respectively, for carrying out an oath they took to protect and defend our nation's borders. The acts for which they were imprisoned were carried out in the performance of their sworn duty, as they were attempting to apprehend illegals smuggling street drugs into our country. Thanks to their actions, hundreds or maybe thousands of American youth were denied access to the harmful drugs carried by these illegal border crossers.
Just as Agents Ramos and Compean fulfilled their duty to protect us, we have a duty to protect them from convictions that are repugnant, and from sentences that are disproportionate and grossly unfair. This is not justice.
If we allow these men to serve sentences which are, in all probability, much longer than the drug smuggler's sentence would have been had he not been granted immunity in exchange for his testimony, we violate the trust we must keep with all those who protect our nation, both in the military and other federal agencies. If these sentences are carried out, how many futureAmericans will decide that dedicating their lives to protecting our country is just not worth the risk to their own families, and how many thousands of American families will thus be jeopardized? How many have we lost as a result of the failure of our government to maintain their trust that we will protect them as they protect us?
I know I speak for millions of other Americans with this letter urging you to pardon or commute the sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. These are two good men who do not deserve the punishment mandated by their sentences. Neither should their families be forced to suffer without husbands and fathers. There is nothing to be gained by their imprisonment. They are not threats to the community; there is nothing to rehabilitate.They should not be there.
Please pardon them as a merciful act of compassion. Such a pardon does not cast doubt on the actions of the Justice Department, but rather reflects the mercy our Lord taught us to show to others.
It's simply the right thing to do.
In just one week, you will hand over the reins of power to a new president. Prior to that, you have absolute, unquestioned authority to make whole the lives of these families. In addition, you can restore confidence in our judicial system in the minds of many Americans who can't sleep at night asthey consider the suffering and anguish being experienced by the Ramos and Compean families.
I urge you to do this because the Ramos and Compean sentences are not proportionate.
I urge you to do this because you are a man of faith with mercy and compassion in your heart.
I urge you to do this as a way of bringing healing to our country, and keeping faith with those who are sworn to protect it.
I urge you to do this, most of all, for the sake of the wives and children who are punished as severely as the imprisoned agents because of their continued incarceration. These children need the guidance of fathers as they grow into responsible adults.
January 20 is right around the corner.
Please find it in your heart to return officers Ramos and Compean to their wives and children before you leave office.
With gratitude and respect,
Your City and State