The Corner

Re: Pardon Prospects

John M.: I don’t actually think Ramos and Compean are heroes — they broke rules, and probably laws, though it was clearly a political decision to try them under the statute regarding use of a firearm in the commission of a felony (leading to their excessive sentences), which was not intended by Congress to be applied to law enforcement officers in the course of their duties. But since the agents were nonetheless in the wrong, I think the appropriate relief would be commutation rather than pardon. But that’s not even the point of my post — rather, if Bush fails to act, Obama will have a golden opportunity to gain points with grassroots border hawks who didn’t vote for him but who hate Bush. The press release writes itself — “I am acting today to correct one more mistake in Bush’s eight-year reign of error which split immigrant famiulies, then overreacted in disciplining decorated law-enforcement officers …” The truth or falsity isn’t the issue — rather the enormous political utility of commuting Ramos and Compean’s sentences. Obama’d be stupid not to seize the opportunity, if it presents itself.

Mark Krikorian — Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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