Border Patrol Agent Sues Over Dismissal

El Paso – The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit for a former Border Patrol agent who claims he was fired just weeks before his probationary period ended because he expressed opinions about illegal immigration and drug legalization.

The action was filed Thursday in federal court in El Paso, Texas, on behalf of Bryan Gonzalez, who was fired in September 2009.

Ramiro Cordero, the Border Patrol's special operations supervisor in El Paso, declined comment. Cordero says the agency cannot discuss pending litigation.

Gonzalez says while patrolling near Deming, N.M., in April 2009, he told a fellow agent during a casual conversation that he believed legalizing drugs would reduce violence in Mexico. Gonzalez also told his colleague he understood the economic factors driving immigrants to cross the border illegally.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.