Please direct all media inquiries to Andy
Ramirez by email to: Andy@AndyRamirez.com .
1. Why was FOBP created?
The principle purpose of Friends of the Border Patrol was to educate
the public about the duties and responsibilities of immigration law
enforcement agents and how they can assist such agents through
trained observation and reporting actionable information. Friends of
the Border Patrol provided technical and legal support to
members of the public engaged in observation projects. We have
worked with law enforcement since 2005 including local sheriff's
offices and police departments, as well as the Border Patrol. We
also assisted Border Patrol agents who sought justice
regardless of rank or union status through our legal defense fund.
Thanks to you, we exposed DHS corruption.
2. When was FOBP created?
FOBP was founded in August of 2004 by Andy Ramirez. FOBP was later
incorporated in the State of California in Spring 2005. The IRS approved our application as 501(c)(3) nonprofit
corporation in Jan. 2006 retroactive to March 2005.
3. What did the FOBP Legal Defense Fund do and why was it created?
FOBP established the FOBP Legal Defense Fund in Mid-2006 as a result
of Border Patrol Agent cases being brought to our attention by the
agents themselves as well as an agent's family members. The LDF's
purpose evolved to assist all border law enforcement
officers being prosecuted or terminated unjustly by DHS/DOJ for
enforcing immigration laws. Also, it assisted officers being
penalized more harshly than circumstances called for by their own
4. How did an agent/officer seek assistance from the FOBP
Legal Defense Fund and what was the application process?
After our initial casework involving two El Paso BP agents, FOBP adopted
a new protocol and redeveloped the application process. We required
a written agreement between the "officer" and ourselves that defined our
support. After being initially contacted by an officer or family
member, the officer filled out an application. Prior to acceptance of
an application, we conducted an independent investigation to ascertain
the facts of the case, which remained confidential. When our
investigation demonstrated an injustice to have taken place, we accepted
the case and took steps such as notifying the public through the media
and the Congress.
5. Did the Legal Defense Fund provide funding for current
or previously earned legal fees on cases?
No, the FOBP Legal Defense Fund did not accept financial
responsibility for legal fees of attorneys previously hired by the
client, unless it was agreed to in writing as authorized by the FOBP Board
of Directors. If a "officer" is a member of their union, such as the
National Border Patrol Council, their legal fees would have been reimbursed
or paid upon "client" acquittal. Keep in mind this is part of union
dues and why they are paid.
6. Regarding the Compean & Ramos case, how did the appeal
attorneys get picked?
Our board, along with the National Border Patrol Council conducted a
national search for attorneys that practice before the 5th Circuit
Court of Appeals in an effort to find the best attorneys possible to
represent Agents Compean and Ramos during the appeal. After
narrowing down the choices, we recommended the most highly
recommended and even more important in that the counsels specialized
in the defense of law enforcement officers. On October2, 2006, we
met in Dallas with the prospective counsel and Mr. Compean
officially retained their services within 24 hours. Though Mr. Ramos
initially refused the meeting, he eventually had a brief phone
meeting with the attorneys recommended by both organizations. During
that meeting Ramos used the valuable time to ask for recommendation
by Compean's new attorneys to an attorney also based in Texas.
Rather than take the two for one deal, which was offered by the
counsels and recommended by both organizations and apply the
remainder of the money raised for relief for the usage of both
families, Ramos chose the Austin based counsel at a higher rate, AND
continued in the service with his original counsel. In doing so, the
recommendation that ALL new counsel be retained for the appeal was
rejected by Ramos, and both organizations made their payments to the
new counsel. It must be noted that Mr. Ramos has had his own website
set-up for his sole fundraising purposes since early October 2006.
FOBP ceased all fundraising efforts for Ramos in late September 2006
and Mr. Compean and his family in February 2008. The website for Agent
Compean ceased to operate after the contract was mutually terminated.
For any questions, we have published our complete financial report on
this page, which has a complete itemization available for your review.
You will find it both comprehensive and accurate. No FOBP officer
was ever compensated as much as one cent during that fundraising period,
between Aug - Nov 2006 though we've been actively monitoring and working
pro-bono on this case since first notified in the Spring of 2005,
which is reflected in the financial report.
7. What is the FOBP Freedom Observation and how did it work?
The FOBP Freedom Observation System was a project of Friends of the
Border Patrol that was successful. The name stood for Free Domestic Observation and
Monitoring System (FREEDOM), which allowed us to observe our borders,
coastlines, and interior points to monitor any illegal activities,
and report them to the appropriate law enforcement agency, primarily
the U.S. Border Patrol. It was founded on the principle of
"neighborhood watch." Our cameras operated on private properties and
provided a public tool that the US Border Patrol can use to assist
their efforts. Providing actionable information to the U.S. Border Patrol
was the goal. We continue to work with individuals to develop
innovative advanced equipment, some of which may include sensors for
use along the borders in order to assist the agents enforcing
immigration laws. Unfortunately we had to terminate the FREEDOM project due
to lack of funds.
8. Were civilian volunteers trained?
Yes. Our volunteers were trained specifically to observe from a
centralized location, and to follow a list of protocols and safety
procedures. Local community residents in East San Diego County were trained
how to contact law enforcement officials with immigration law violations.
All volunteer observers were prohibited, without exception, from any
interaction with any and all illegal aliens. Failure to do so would have
resulted in removal from the area of operations. Our top priority is
9. How was FOBP funded?
Friends of the Border Patrol accepted donations, which were 100% tax deductible.
American citizens, and organizations made donations to support
our work and projects from across the nation, some of which led
to providing information to the Congress and law enforcement agencies.
We do not share our donor/volunteer lists with any entity so as to ensure
your privacy. Contact Andy to learn how to continue to support such work post-FOBP.
10. How did your contribution help?
Your generous donation helped support our projects, operations and
overhead, which allowed us to investigate northern and southern
border sectors. Our investigations resulted in testifying
as expert witnesses before Congress and uncovering details that DHS
and CBP Managers hid from the Congress. We also helped
law enforcement officers and their families through our legal defense
fund and assisted their cases.
11. How can we continue to assist such work?
Contact Andy via e-mail and he will be able to forward you to the appropriate organization.
12. Was FOBP a national organization?
Yes, FOBP was a national organization and worked with the Congress,
law enforcement agencies, and associations/coalitions across the country.
These included the Southwest Border Sheriffs Coalition, Texas Border
Sheriffs Coalition, Federal Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers Association,
and Fraternal Order of Police Lodges in CA, AZ, NM, TX, IL, & MD.
El Paso's Lodge 82 was the first of many FOP Lodges.