Unjustly imprisoned Border Patrol agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos lost their final appeal for a new trial in July. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed only an obstruction of justice count against the men, leaving their 11- and 12-year sentences unchanged.
Item: The Associated Press reported on August 28: “Hispanics should not have to live in fear of raids by immigration agents, Michelle Obama told a Hispanic caucus to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.... ‘We would have an immigration policy that brings 12 million people out of the shadows,’ she told cheering caucus members who shouted ‘Yes we can’ in Spanish.”
In the absence of proper federal immigration enforcement, state and local governments have been forced to take action. Escondido, California, in northern San Diego county, has long been a destination for many illegal aliens from Mexico. The police department there has begun “criminal alien” sweeps, in which officers identify illegal aliens with criminal records who have been previously deported but then returned. The city has also been using “public nuisance” ordinances in areas notorious for high illegal-alien population, citing residents for junk cars and graffiti. Maine, Oregon, and Michigan stopped issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, leaving only four states — Hawaii, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington — that now allow illegal immigrants driving privileges.
In a June 18 White House meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev, President Bush announced that “today because of the Prime Minister’s hard work, there has been a breakthrough on the visa waiver, as an important step toward achieving the same status as other countries in the EU.” The Montenegro Times reported that “Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin and US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff signed an interim declaration” under the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which outlines the “requirements Bulgaria must meet to join the 27 Asian and European countries currently in the program.” Citizens of visa waiver countries are allowed to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa.
Christian Pastor Don Swarthout has filed an ethics complaint with the Texas Bar Association seeking an investigation of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton’s performance during the prosecution of U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. His complaint alleges that Sutton issued “willfully misleading” statements to the jury that convicted the two men of wrongfully shooting at a drug smuggler attempting to cross into the United States.