Please ask President Obama to remedy firing of border patrol agent allegedly for his sympathy with drug and immigration reform

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Dec 05, 2011 Please ask President Obama to remedy firing of border patrol agent allegedly for his sympathy with drug and immigration reform

Earlier this year, a fellow public school classmate was extolling his police work on Facebook, where I responded by inviting him to join the efforts of such people as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition to reverse the damage of the drug war. He responded amiably enough, but underlined that he was not surprised that LEAP is primarily comprised of former rather than current law enforcement people.

As it turns out, the stories of terminated Border Patrol agent Bryan Gonzalez and terminated probation agent Joe Miller underline why some law enforcement folks might wait until their retirement to voice support for drug reform. Gonzalez alleges that he was terminated for expressing support for drug and immigration law reform. Miller alleges he was terminated after expressing support for marijuana decriminalization in a LEAP letter (although his employer states that he had not made sufficiently clear in the letter that he was speaking on his own behalf (he disputes that), and for allegedly dishonestly denying signing onto the LEAP letter (he says that at the time he had not known his wife signed his name to the letter, but then supported it)).

Such government employees as Bryan Gonzalez and Joe Miller should not lose such free expression rights by donning a law enforcement uniform or probation agent moniker.

Please urge President Obama and Customs Commissioner Alan Bersin to remedy the firing of Mr. Gonzalez. To seek a remedy for Mr. Miller, you may contact the probation office for the Superior Court in Mohave County, California.

Here is what I wrote to President Obama and Commissioner Bersin, separately:

Dear President Obama (/Commissioner Bersin)-

The following New York Times article reports the firing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Bryan Gonzalez after he informally expressed opinions to a colleague about the drug war and about easing treatment of undocumented non-U.S.-citizens.

I ask you to assure that he gets his job back if his above-stated views were the basis for his firing. Mr. Gonzalez is in a particularly unique position to share views with a colleague about the drug war and immigration policy, and should not be fired for it nor sanctioned otherwise.

Additional documents relevant to Mr. Gonzalez’s case are the defendant’s dismissal motion, Mr. Gonzalez’s opposition to dismissal, and the trial court’s sua sponte order to stay proceedings pending the Supreme Court’s ruling on a parallel pending case

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