The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

FAIR Continues Hero Treatment for Convicted Ex-Border Patrolman

By Sonia Scherr on August 19, 2009 - 3:04 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

In a promotion for its lobbying extravaganza on Capitol Hill next month, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) asserts that lawmakers must “restore integrity to our immigration system.”

Apparently, such integrity does not preclude the use of deadly force against an unarmed suspect. A featured speaker at next month’s Lobby Days will be Ignacio “Nacho” Ramos, one of two former border patrol agents convicted of multiple felony charges in connection with the 2005 shooting of a drug smuggler who was fleeing from them. Ramos is scheduled to speak on Sept. 16 as part of FAIR’s annual three-day lobbying campaign that brings anti-immigrant activists to the Capitol to meet with lawmakers. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated FAIR a hate group because of its ties to white supremacists.

Ramos was sentenced in 2006 to 11 years in prison for his role in shooting the undocumented immigrant, but was freed earlier this year after President George Bush granted clemency to him and to former border patrol agent Jose Compean, who was also involved in the shooting. Although Bush commuted their sentences, he did not pardon them, so they remain convicted felons. Nearly all their convictions were upheld last year by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that “[t]he trial of the case was conducted fairly and without reversible error.”

FAIR states on its website that Ramos “will share his experience and story about the arrest of a drug dealer that caused he [sic] and another Border Patrol Agent to be jailed for years.” In fact, no arrest ever took place. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, Ramos and Compean were patrolling along the border on the afternoon of Feb. 17, 2005, when a van driver, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, failed to obey Ramos’s attempt to pull him over. Instead, he jumped out of the van and fled in the direction of Mexico. As he climbed out of a steep ditch, Compean confronted him with a drawn shotgun and yelled, “Stop, stop you Mexican shit.” Aldrete-Davila tried to surrender and had no weapon in his hands, but instead of making an arrest, Compean swung at him with the butt of his shotgun. After Compean missed, Aldrete-Davila again ran toward Mexico. Compean then fired at Aldrete-Davila at least 14 times. Ramos fired once, hitting Aldrete-Davila in the buttocks. Afterward, they made no effort to arrest Aldrete-Davila, concealed evidence, and failed to report the shooting. During the incident, neither agent knew that the van Aldrete-Davila was driving contained marijuana or that the driver was in the United States illegally. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton said in a statement that “when law enforcement officers use their badge as a shield for carrying out crimes and then engage in a cover up, we cannot look the other way. Agents Compean and Ramos shot an unarmed, fleeing suspect in the back and lied about it.”

That hasn’t stopped Ramos and Compean from becoming celebrities of sorts in nativist circles. During a press conference at last year’s Lobby Days, many activists held signs that commanded, “Free Ramos and Compean.” Ramos’s wife, Monica, and his father-in-law looked on from the crowd; Monica Ramos appeared on Lou Dobbs’ show that evening during “Hold Their Feet to the Fire,” a talk-radio blitz held in conjunction with Lobby Days. Many speakers at the press conference expressed support for the former border patrol agents, including FAIR president Dan Stein, who said anyone who criticizes FAIR is also slinging mud at “people whose husbands are in jail for trying to defend our borders and do the right thing.” He added: “Doing the right thing is doing what we’re all about. Free Ramos and Compean.”

  • Ed Smith

    A big fuss over something that’s very controlable. Hate can be stopped anytime we’re ready. But, be prepared to hurt feelings including your own. The answer is in the news everyday, worldwide. If you’re willing to do what has to be done, totally without violence, we can very easily stop hate. But, it’s going to take minorities working together. We can turn the tables anytime we’re ready and if all minorities come together and hit the air ways together. I promise you that within 1 year it will be a thing of the pass.
    We can’t remove it from the heart but, we can put a stop to how open they’re willing to be in public and that alone will stop these organizations from growing. I’m ready whenever!

  • Billy Kess

    The person that Ramos and Compean shot was a drug smuggling thug who was illegal and sneaking drugs into this country.

    These men are heros.

    Our nation is fed up with illegal immigration. Stop trying to say that being anti-illegal immigration is the same as being anti-immigration.

    I welcome anyone of any race from any nation who comes here the legal way. Ellis Island. Not sneaking over the border.

    And you can come up with all the spin you want to make it sound like we’re the bad guys. We’re not. And this invasion is going to end sooner or later. Keep pushing us American citizens and you will awaken a sleeping giant. And trust me… we will win.

  • Steven Terrell, Sr.

    I’ve declared that SPLC is a hate group. They are suffwring from “mission creep”.

  • Donna

    David, great point!

  • beholder

    Ramos and Compean were responsible for a summary execution. That they did so “in the line of duty” is precisely what distinguishes summary execution from real justice. They at least had a right to a trial of appeals. Their victim has his boots in the ground and from that there is no appeal or commuted sentence.

  • dave

    To Exagg- …beyond what commonsense and history informs us about the ways of elites? Not permitted.

    Read Machiavelli, Gibbon’s ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’, and Shirer’s ‘Inside the Third Reich’

  • dave

    Geno, you didn’t get it.

  • GENO

    ‘The American Indian found out the hard way what happens when illegal immigration runs amok.”

    What do you, sir, know about the lessons the American Indians faced when “immigration runs amok”? American Indians did not create borders, as the tribes at the border that have the old traditional treaties signed with the U.S. government when the delineation of borders was created. As they would say–“the borders crossed them, they didn’t cross any borders.” As for them learning their lessons the hard way, its true in that context that the U.S. government made it difficult for border tribes to access their lands. It has nothing to do with illegal aliens but more to do with the U.S. immigration policies and their lack of respect for indian tribes at the border, their split-up families, their sacred sites, and burial grounds etc. Is it possible that Ramos(and/or Compean) are part Native American? Because from the article above, they’ve shouted racist epithets at the fleeing Mexican.

  • Exaggerato

    Observeth “dave:”

    Part of illegal immigrant support… is based upon support for the rampant illegal drug and underage sex trade.

    Can we please have credible, factual substantiation therefor?

  • dave

    If forced to choose, I would pick the corruption of Ramos over the other corruption and larger issue here- our leaders in D.C. are hip- deep involved in the illegal drug trade. If about 80% of all of the cocaine entering the US enters through well known choke points (one county in Texas on the Mex border)…yet we keep the border “open”…You know whats going on..

    Part of illegal immigrant support… is based upon support for the rampant illegal drug and underage sex trade.

    Our “leaders” in Georgetown and Manhatten need ‘amusements…’

    If you only knew what I know, NO-ONE would support amnesty.

  • GENO

    As much as I support our Border Patrol Agents and the elite–“Shadow Wolves”. But in this case, after learning of how they(Ramos&Compean) conducted themselves and this incident is woefully the opposite of professional law enforcement conduct. It was rogue and criminal in nature, that they did not report the shooting, the suspect or even the unknown amounts of drug contraband inside the van. I don’t see anything professional about their handling of this. And anyone who supported what they did are technically supporting cops on the wrong side of the law. It is reminiscent of mass corrupt lawdogs like those in Mexico. And we cannot allow our own law enforcement personals to act in the same manner.

    I don’t hold Ramos&Compean to high police standards. After how they tried to cover up their crime. But the good news is that they are no longer with the Border Patrol Agency. And that’s what counts.

  • YumaAZ

    They upset the drug cart and it could have exposed the drug corruption going on. Attn. had to file charges. This is a coverup by the Attn. and his group. A wider issue is involved here, for sure. DRUGs and the cartel. Someone needs to check it out before jumping to conclusions when the TRUE FACTs are not known. What has been in the news is not a good reference of facts. Undercover agencies and agents know what is going on. If and when the truth is known, we will thank these two agents for what they did. This is just the tip of the coverup going on in the drug traffic routes and who is covering it up and protecting it. Follow the money. When will the drugs that has been confiscated be destroyed.
    What is an illegal immigrant. They entered the USA illegally.
    As for immigration. The United States should look at the immigration law of Mexico. I am sure they who enter the USA illegally would just love it because OURs is so restrictive.

  • david

    The illegal immigrant in question was found with 800 pounds of pot…Liberal Senator Diane Feinstein urged for the commutation and release of Ramos…and incidentally, its not unusual to hit suspects in the butt…the case is sad, esp. since Ramos tried to cover -up what he had done…this is part of wider issue.

    The American Indian found out the hard way what happens when illegal immigration runs amok.

  • david

    The Ramos case was given short shrift here. Once you find out the details, you will have a new tune in your head…the war against illegal drug dealers who poison our children continues…

  • Randy Prince

    It strikes me as more than just ironic—is it me are both those dirt bags of hispanic origin??

  • Snorlax

    These two are the heroes of the nativist movement. The local nativist talk show host had a big celebration when they were released from jail.

    Two cops who shot an unarmed suspect in the butt. Yeah, they’re real heroes.

    In other news:

    BALTIMORE (AP) — A white supremacist accused of beating of a 76-year-old black man has a tattoo of Adolf Hitler on his stomach with the words “He Lives” beneath it, and uses the Nazi dictator’s last name as a nickname, according to police and court documents.

    Calvin E. Lockner, 28, was ordered held without bail Wednesday morning. He’s been charged with a long list of crimes including attempted murder, carjacking and assault, and prosecutors can seek tougher penalties under Maryland’s hate crime law.”

    …Jeez, the weirdos are crawling out of the woodwork.