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Religious right favors amnesty

November 19, 2007, 1:19 pm | Posted by Dan Nejfelt

Today’s Washington Times breaks the story that Paul Weyrich and other Religious Right leaders are calling for amnesty, not for undocumented immigrants, but for Border Patrol agents who shoot them:

In a letter that was delivered today to the White House, 31 major conservative petitioners joined a campaign led by Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and presidential candidate, asking President Bush to pardon [Border Patrol agents] Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean before Thanksgiving…

The letter comes on the heels of the arrest of admitted drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila on charges of trafficking marijuana while he was profiting from the federal immunity deal as the star witness in the shooting case against the agents.

“History has proven that the mere words and deeds of a president can change the course of history and profoundly affect both the tone and direction of the nation’s moral character for generations to come,” said the letter signed by 31 petitioners, mostly from Christian conservative groups and national-security organizations.

What the statement and the article neglect to mention is that Ramos and Compean are in prison for shooting the unarmed Aldrete-Davila in the behind as he fled from them, and then covered it up.

Message -

Immigrants:

If you cross the border illegally but otherwise obey the law, get a job, pay your taxes, feed your family, you are a criminal unworthy of the opportunity to earn citizenship.

Border Patrol agents:

If you shoot an unarmed man in the behind, cover it up, and get convicted of a violent felony in federal court, you are a victim of a grave miscarriage of justice and deserving of a presidential pardon.

The statement’s signers say that presidents can “profoundly affect both the tone and direction of the nation’s moral character for generations to come,” and they are right. What they’re wrong about is what it would do to the nation’s moral character to pardon people who shoot unarmed migrants while denying marginalized, hardworking, otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants the opportunity to earn legal status in their adoptive homeland.

3 Responses to “Religious right favors amnesty”

  1. T1mi says:

    It’s obvious you’re fairly uninformed about this case. The drug smuggler had dropped a load of $1m in drugs across the border, and got shot after pointing something the agents thought was a gun then fled back to Mexico. He was brought back to testify and given immunity. His testimony was the only thing that they had to convict the agents. But here’s a newsflash…he lied under oath. And the fact that he was arrested last week was because during the trial he brought a second load in. This evidence was sealed and the defense was not allowed to use it to impeach the stupid story the drug dealer said about just trying to make a few bucks to send home to his “sick” mother. Don’t be too quick to judge people who are trying to uphold the laws of this country and prevent people from just running us down. The people who signed that letter didn’t talk about illegal immigration…you did. They talked about the disconnect between Bush’s so-called faith and compassion, that he didn’t hesitate to show his buddy, Scooter Libby, and the lack thereof, when it comes to these two agents. All the other things you said are quite off the mark, like you didn’t actually read the letter.

  2. Dan says:

    It’s obvious that you trust the say so of the officers more than the deliberation of a jury that assuredly knows a good deal more of the story than you do, and your point about his drug smuggling activities is irrelevant to the question of the morality of shooting him while he was unarmed.

    I did not state that the letter said anything about illegal immigration, but Weyrich and others have a clear record about their beliefs about “amnesty” for illegal immigrants. To oppose earned citizenship for people who enter this country illegally, while supporting a pardon for Border Patrol agents who shot an unarmed man speaks volumes about their values and the selectivity of their compassion, and that was my point.

  3. Beth says:

    It is sad to me that human rights issues are getting used for idealogical purposes. In truth, the fact that these two border patrol agents have been in solitary confinement for 10 months does seem excessive. As Dan said, he was trying to point out was the apparent hypocrisy of this group speaking out for these two men, but not against other human rights abuses that have gone on in our nation’s name. I think it is a challenge to both us progressives and to conservatives to speak up for human rights because they are inherent for each human being, not because the particular case matches our ideological agenda.