Monica Ramos embraces her husband, former U.S. Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos, two days before he was sentenced to 11 years in prison (Courtesy El Paso Times)
Monica Ramos, the wife of imprisoned former Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos, attended the State of the Union tonight as a guest of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., who has sharply criticized the president’s handling of the case.
Rohrabacher’s spokeswoman, Tara Setmayer, told WND the presence of Monica Ramos will send a message.
“The congressman felt it was important for Mrs. Ramos to have the opportunity while in the nation’s capital to be a part of the State of the Union, because what her family is going through speaks volumes about the failure of the Bush administration to secure our borders.”
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean began prison sentences last week, of 11 and 12 years respectively, for their actions in the shooting and wounding of a Mexican drug smuggler who was granted full immunity to testify against them.
Setmayer said the “lives of two brave men, her husband Ignacio Ramos and Border Patrol agent Jose Compean, have been destroyed by an inexplicable policy of open borders and amnesty this administration has toward our southern border.”
“If the Bush administration cared about securing our borders,” Setmayer said, “these two law enforcement officers would not be behind bars, and U.S. prosecuting attorneys wouldn’t be prosecuting Border Patrol agents while drug smugglers go free.”
The spokeswoman called the prosecution of Ramos and Compean by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton “overzealous,” insisting that, at most, their penalty for not filing paperwork should have been a reprimand.” Sutton defended his prosecution in an interview with WND.
“This is the worst betrayal of American defenders I have ever seen,” Rohrabacher told WND, referring to the president. “It’s shameful this was done by someone who is in the Republican Party. He obviously thinks more about his agreements with Mexico than the lives of American people and backing up his defenders.”
Monica Ramos told WND she was in Washington, D.C., to attend a meeting earlier this afternoon with concerned congressmen.
President Bush made no reference to the Border Patrol case in a 50-minute speech that focused on domestic issues in the first half and international issues in the second half.
The president promoted initiatives to cut gasoline use through new tough mandatory standards for auto manufacturers that he promised would help fight “climate change.”
He also promoted a program of federal grants to states for medical insurance for those who cannot afford it.
Bush’s defense of his Iraq initiatives were relegated to the second part of his address to the nation.
At least 70 members of the House have signed on to a resolution ordering a congressional pardon that would toss out the convictions and immediately free the former agents.
Monica Ramos described her first meeting with her husband in prison as “heart breaking.”
Ramos confirmed the account provided WND by her father, Joe Loya. She acknowledged her husband is being held in solitary confinement in a 6-by-12 foot cell, without windows. Ignacio Ramos is not being allowed any exercise time, and he is shackled every time he leaves his cell.
“This may be for his protection from other inmates,” Monica Ramos acknowledged to WND, “but this is abusive. They are treating my husband like the worst hardened criminal imaginable.”
She said one of her three young children is so disturbed by the imprisonment that the family has decided to seek counseling for the child.
“My children are planning to visit their father for the first time this Friday,” she said, expressing concern. “This will be the first time they see their dad shackled in chains, when they are used to seeing me send him off in his badge and uniform.”
The couple’s youngest child is 7 years old, the others are aged 9 and 13.
“My youngest child wanted to know if we could order pizza for dad in prison,” Monic Ramos said. “No, I told him. Let’s wait and have pizza night when daddy gets home.”
As WND reported, President Bush does not plan to comment tonight in the State of the Union speech about the convictions of Ramos and Compean. Monica Ramos will be seated in the House Chamber in Gallery 5, Row B, Seat 9.
The White House declined to comment to WND on this story.