- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 31, 2014

The White House has responded to a popular petition that demands the release of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from a Mexican prison, explaining that the Obama administration respects the rule of law and will continue to monitor the situation to make sure the soldier is treated fairly.

More than 134,000 people signed a petition on the White House’s “We the People” website asking the president to demand the release of Sgt. Tahmooressi, who was imprisoned nearly five months ago for illegally crossing from California into Mexico with three firearms in his truck. The Marine maintains that he crossed the border by accident after making a wrong turn on his way to meet a friend. He faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

“As in all cases when a U.S. citizen is arrested overseas, our goal is to see that Mr. Tahmooressi is treated fairly during the judicial process with the hope that he can receive the support, both emotional and medical, that he may require now and at the conclusion of the proceedings,” the White House said in an official response Friday.

The Obama administration said that while specifics can’t be discussed, Secretary of State John Kerry and other U.S. officials have spoken to Mexican officials at the highest levels regarding Sgt. Tahmooressi’s case.

“Mexican authorities have been very willing to engage on this issue. They have provided prompt and continued consular access and visitations,” the statement continued. “We respect the rule of law and expect the judicial process of sovereign nations to protect other U.S. citizens who might find themselves in similar circumstances in the future. We will continue to monitor the case and work with the Mexican authorities as this case proceeds through the Mexican judicial system. We continue to urge the Mexican authorities to process this case expeditiously.”