When Border Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were arrested and convicted for crimes surrounding the 2005 shooting of drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, they became a symbol of the immigration problems facing the United States. They were given a prison sentence of more than 10 years for what some believed to be them "just doing their job," causing conservatives to scream for a pardon from President George Bush.
To their chagrin, Bush refused to touch their case until now.
A day before leaving office, Bush commuted the sentences of Ramos and Compean, saying the time they have served in prison and the loss of their jobs has been sufficient punishment for their crimes.
In this case, Bush got it right.
The actions of Ramos and Compean were crimes, and they deserved to be punished for those crimes. A pardon of these men would have been an affront to the rule of law in the United States. Sure, the immigration system in the United Sates is broken; however, those entrusted to enforce the law are not above it.
Did Ramos and Compean deserve to be in jail for more than a decade? No, but neither did they deserve to have their crimes wiped away with a presidential pardon.
Let’s learn from the case of Ramos and Compean and try to fix the broken system in which they found themselves. We must improve our immigration and drug laws in the United States to ensure that no other person ends up in the same situation as Ramos and Compean.