McCaul, Cornyn, Cruz, Carter, Vela Bill to Honor Fallen Agent Vega is Headed to President’s Desk
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressmen Michael McCaul (TX-10), John Carter (TX-31) and Filemon Vela (TX-34) and U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) applaud the House passage of S. 1617 – Javier Vega, Jr. Memorial Act of 2017 - to honor the fallen U.S. Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega, Jr.
Congressmen McCaul, Carter, and Vela introduced this piece of legislation in the House and Senators Cornyn and Cruz introduced this legislation in the Senate on July 24, 2017. This bill renames the Border Patrol checkpoint where Agent Vega was assigned, along U.S. Highway 77 North in Sarita, Texas, after him. The bill will now head to the president’s desk.
“As Chairman of Homeland Security, I am proud of all of our Border Patrol Agents who put their lives on the line every day to protect our homeland and keep Americans safe,” said Rep. McCaul. “Agent Vega is remembered as a dedicated, loyal agent and U.S. Marine whose commitment to protecting our communities in south Texas should serve as an example to us all. By renaming this checkpoint we want to ensure that his faithful service to our nation will never be forgotten.”
“Agent Javier Vega, Jr. represented the very best of America, and the very best of the United States Border Patrol,” Rep. Carter said. “For Agent Vega, there was no “off the clock” – he devoted his entire life to public service, selflessly defending our southern border. Agent Vega made the ultimate sacrifice, protecting his family and upholding the law when attacked by two illegal aliens. I am proud to have worked with my Texas colleagues to rename the Sarita checkpoint for Agent Vega, a tribute to his dedication and faithful service to our nation. Texas will never forget his faithfulness and bravery. May God bless all of our Border Patrol Agents and their families.”
“Javier Vega dedicated himself to public service, and his sacrifice in defense of his country and his family will never be forgotten,” said Rep. Vela. “We owe Mr. Vega and his family an immeasurable debt of gratitude.”
“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 dedicated his life to the service of our nation, and the great state of Texas,” Sen. Cruz said. “I applaud the House’s passage of this bill, which Sen. John Cornyn and I cosponsored in the Senate. The bill will rename the checkpoint where Agent Vega and his dog ‘Goldie,’ selflessly ensured the safety and security of our border. I urge President Trump to swiftly sign this bill into law, to ensure Agent Vega’s life and legacy will always be remembered.”
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.