February 26, 2008, - 5:32 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Remember Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, the Border Patrol agents who were prosecuted, then sent to federal prison for at least a decade, for defending themselves against a drug-dealing illegal alien criminal?
Welcome to the sequel.
Today, the trial of Border Patrol agent Nicholas Corbett began with jury selection. Corbett is charged in the fatal shooting, last year, of illegal alien Francisco Dominguez-Rivera. He says it was in self-defense, that Dominguez-Rivera and his illegal alien companions threw rocks at him. But if you are a Border Patrol or ICE Agent, there is a presumption of guilt against you today, many such agents tell me.
This is one of those cases:
A U.S. Border Patrol agent went on trial on Tuesday in the killing of a Mexican man attempting to cross illegally into Arizona, a case closely watched by pro- and anti-illegal immigrant groups.
Jury selection began in U.S. District Court in Tucson, Ariz., to decide the fate of agent Nicholas Corbett, who faces second-degree murder charges for killing Francisco Dominguez Rivera in the southern Arizona desert.
Corbett, who has claimed through attorneys that he shot in self defense, is also charged with manslaughter and negligent homicide in connection with the January 12, 2007, incident.
Dominguez Rivera, 22, was fatally shot after crossing an isolated stretch of the border between Naco and Douglas with his two brothers and the girl friend of one of the brothers. Corbett said he shot after being threatened with a rock.
The incident drew an immediate rebuke by the Mexican government, with that country’s Foreign Ministry complaining of “disproportionate violence.” Diplomats at the Mexican Embassy in Washington called for a thorough investigation.
Jennifer Allen, executive director of Tucson-based Border Action Network, said the human-rights group plans a weeklong vigil in front of the courthouse.
“We’ll be there to send a message affirming that no one is above the law and calling for justice in this case,” said Allen, who added that the case underscores the need for better training for agents and oversight.
A Border Patrol spokesman in Tucson had no immediate comment.
A top border patrol union official said the case has been overblown by prosecutors and never should have reached trial. “We’re hopeful that justice will prevail and he is found innocent of all charges,” said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council.
Aren’t you glad that the Bush Administration ruins members of our law enforcement’s lives on behalf of another government whose citizens are dumped on us?
So much for national sovereignty.
If every single action of Border Patrol (and ICE) agents is second-guessed in courts–with their lives on the line–who will want to take these thankless jobs?
Well, soon, Border Patrol and ICE agent will fall under the lines of work that President Bush characterized as “the work Americans just won’t do.”
Nicholas Corbett should be getting hazard pay, not his life on trial.
Tags: Arizona, Arizona desert, Border Action Network, Border Patrol, Border Patrol spokesman, border patrol union official, Bush, Bush administration, executive director, Foreign Ministry, Francisco Dominguez Rivera, human-rights group, ICE, Jennifer Allen, law enforcement, Mexican Embassy, Mexican government, National Border Patrol Council, Nicholas Corbett, President, T.J. Bonner, Tucson, U.S. District Court, Washington