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 one of two U.S. Border Patrol agents imprisoned last week for wounding an escaping drug smuggler, attended the State of the Union speech in person last night – and was sharply critical of President Bush, calling him a hypocrite and worse.
Ramos, wife of Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos, attended the event as a guest of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.
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.
At the conclusion of the speech, Ramos, emotional and in tears, told WND in an exclusive interview, that she considered President Bush’s speech compete hypocrisy.
“How could President Bush say that he wanted to secure our borders and that he would double the size of the Border Patrol when my husband is in prison,” she asked WND. “Ignacio was trying to secure our border from drug smugglers. And what do we get? I have to show my children their father in prison in chains and I have to explain to them that the president of the United States is a liar.”
WND waited nearly an hour after the speech was concluded to be able to speak with a clearly emotionally upset Monica Ramos.
“President Bush can say all he wants that the solution to border security is new infrastructure and technology,” Ramos told WND, “but as long as my husband is in jail the American people should know that President Bush doesn’t mean a word he says.”
“What I sat in the gallery and heard tonight,” she said, “was a total sell-out of the United States of America to Mexico. I heard President Bush’s message loud and clear. All the president has to offer is electronic gadgets. Meanwhile, our borders are wide open to illegal immigrants, criminals and drug smugglers. God help the honest men and women of the Border Patrol who want to do their duty. It’s a losing battle – just ask my husband, he’ll tell you the truth.”
“The American people only need to ask me,” Ramos pleaded to WND. “Tell America that President Bush doesn’t mean a word of what he says about border security. My husband is in jail for trying to capture a drug smuggler and President Bush wants electronics? My husband is a hero and President Bush is a traitor as far as I’m concerned. Let him tell my children that he wants new ‘infrastructure’ or ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ when their dad who wore the Border Patrol badge for years is shackled and in chains for doing his job.”
Rohrabacher agreed with Ramos, emphasizing to WND that “the Bush administration has a hidden agenda with Mexico and that agenda is to keep our border with Mexico wide open, even to drug smugglers.”
Asked what message he wanted to send by inviting Ramos’ wife to attend the speech in person, Rohrabacher explained: “I wanted to give Mrs. Ramos the opportunity to be in the room and look President Bush right in the face, knowing that this was the man who was destroying her life by his decision to prosecute her husband to the hilt.”
Rohrabacher described the injustice he perceived in emotional terms: “By prosecuting these two Border Patrol agents while the drug smuggler is given immunity, President Bush has brutalized the lives of agents Ramos and Compean with a decision that threatens to destroy their families. The wives and the young children of these two Border Patrol agents are now being driven into poverty. The families have no health insurance, they are now losing their homes, and they face a mountain of debt to lawyers. This is a travesty of justice and a personal tragedy that should make President Bush ashamed.
Asked if he had achieved his purpose in inviting Monica Ramos to attend the speech, Rohrabacher told WND:
My purpose after hearing the State of the Union tonight is doubly resolved. President Bush needs to know that we will not rest until Border Patrol [officers] Ramos and Compean are set free.
In history there are cases where heroic people were brutalized and sacrificed by political powers in order to achieve a certain agenda. In this case, I think that’s what’s happening.
We have an administration that has a hidden agenda with Mexico such that George Bush wants an open border, even though an open border is not in the interests of the American people.
These Border Patrol agents are caught in the middle. They’re Americans and they know what their job is supposed to be. They are being persecuted and prosecuted for our sake because they are getting in the way of a power play that has yet been disclosed to the public.
It brutalizes the lives and destroys the families of men who have been willing to sacrifice their lives for us for the last five and 10 years. This is both a tragedy and a travesty.
The continued insistence of the administration to prosecute these Border Patrol agents and to put them in jail and to shackle them and see the families of these men being driven into destitution – this indicates that there has been a decision right at the top that’s based on arrogance and cruelty that I think unfortunately reflects our president. It’s a side of the president that is now coming out.
We get calls back from the underlings, the assistant congressional liaison officers. This president doesn’t return phone calls and he is arrogant and nasty and doesn’t treat people very well, not even members of Congress.
The statement we’re trying to make is that the president’s policy along the border is responsible for murders, drug dealers and terrorists entering the country, millions of illegals. His policy has resulted in the undermining of those law enforcement officers guarding the border, he has totally demoralized the Border Patrol, and in the process of him trying to send a message to the Border Patrol he’s destroying the lives of two families. … This person looking right into the face of the president in the same room, this mother of three, her life is being destroyed by President Bush’s decision to fully prosecute to the hilt her husband.
American citizens need to rally around these two Border Patrol agents and should call the White House directly to register their protest to this travesty of justice.
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.
Monica Ramos told WND she was in Washington, D.C., to attend a meeting yesterday afternoon with concerned congressmen.
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.”