Cornyn, Cruz, Carter, McCaul, Vela Bill Will Rename Checkpoint After Fallen Agent Javier Vega
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Congressmen John Carter (TX-31), Michael McCaul (TX-10), and Filemon Vela (TX-34) today introduced bills to honor the fallen U.S. Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega, Jr. for his service by renaming the Border Patrol checkpoint where he was assigned, along U.S. Highway 77 North in Sarita, Texas, after him.
“Our nation was blessed to have such a dedicated public servant in Agent Vega,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Even when not in uniform, Agent Vega exemplified the selflessness and devotion to public safety that makes an extraordinary agent, and this will help honor his service and sacrifice.”
“Agent Javier Vega loved his family, loved Texas and loved his country,” Sen. Cruz said. “He should be remembered as a hero, having dedicated his life to defending our great nation. Agent Vega first served in the Marines, and went on to serve as a canine handler at the Texas Border Patrol station in Kingsville, Texas. In a horrific attack by two criminal aliens, Agent Vega’s life was taken protecting his family. I am honored to join Sen. Cornyn in this effort to honor his dedicated service to our country and to Texas. This bill will honor Agent Vega at the place where he and his dog “Goldie” selflessly served to ensure safety and security at our border.”
“We must honor those who put their lives on the line every day to ensure our security,” said Rep. Carter. “I proudly support the effort to name the Sarita, Texas Border Patrol checkpoint in remembrance of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega, Jr. who gave the ultimate sacrifice while defending himself and his family from two criminal illegal aliens. He faithfully served our great nation, and the US Border Patrol in south Texas. The tragedy of his death must not be forgotten.”
“Our Border Patrol Agents put their lives on the line daily to protect our homeland and keep Americans safe,” said Rep. McCaul. “As Chairman of Homeland Security, I am proud to support this bill to rename the Sarita, Texas Border Patrol checkpoint the Javier Vega, Jr. Border Patrol Checkpoint in honor of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega, Jr. who was murdered by two illegal criminal aliens while defending his family. Agent Vega is remembered as a dedicated and loyal agent and U.S. Marine whose commitment to protecting our communities in south Texas should serve as an example to us all. Thank you to all of our agents along our borders for your service and the sacrifices you and your families make every day. To Agent Vega’s family, I want you to know his faithful service to our nation will not be forgotten.”
“United States Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega devoted his life to serving our nation,” said Rep. Vela. “Renaming the Sarita checkpoint for Agent Vega will honor that dedication, serving as a tribute to his heroism and sacrifice.”
Agent Vega was fishing in Raymondville, Texas in 2014 when he was murdered while protecting his family from two individuals suspected of ties to transnational organized crime. Agent Vega’s death was not immediately classified as a line of duty fatality, even though he was responding to a clear violation of law at the time of his death.
Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Vela (TX-34) sent a letter on October 30, 2015, and again with U.S. Reps. Michael McCaul (TX-10) and John Carter (TX-31) on September 16, 2016, urging U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske to reclassify Agent Vega’s death to allow his family to receive the corresponding benefits afforded public safety officers who are killed in the line of duty. On September 21, 2016, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the decision to reclassify Agent Vega’s death as a line of duty fatality.
Full text of the bill is here.