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Rep. Farenthold and Cuellar applaud the Passage of the Jaime Zapata Border Enforcement Security Task Force Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security passed out of committee, H.R.915, the Jaime Zapata Border Enforcement Security Task Force Act. 

H.R.915, introduced by Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and co-sponsored by Congressmen Blake Farenthold (TX-27), Michael McCaul (TX-10), and Hansen Clarke (MI-13), will help fight crime along U.S borders by authorizing the creation of Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) teams.  H.R.915 was named after Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Jaime Zapata who was killed in the line of duty while working in Mexico.    

“This bill will strengthen our law enforcement capabilities across the borders to ensure that a tragedy such as what happened to Agent Jamie Zapata, who this bill is named after, does not happen in the future,” said Congressman Farenthold. “Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) teams are an effective tool in securing our borders, a job Jaime Zapata dedicated his life to. I look forward to supporting H.R.915 when it is brought to the House floor for a vote” said Farenthold.  

“Our country lost ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata in the line of duty, and out of respect for his service to America, I found it proper and fitting to file legislation that would enhance border security by bringing together  federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies as we all work together to secure our borders,” Congressman Cuellar said. “This bill was voted out of the full committee today and is one step closer to becoming federal law. Through this bill, not only would we honor the work of Special Agent Zapata, but we would also provide the needed resources to secure our communities. I look forward to working with Congressman Farenthold and other border lawmakers on the important issue of border security as we look to streamline communications and work among all law enforcement agencies,” said Cuellar. 

Find attached Congressman Farenthold’s remarks as prepared for delivery. 

Editor’s Note: Special Agent Zapata joined ICE in 2006. He served on the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit, as well as the Border Enforcement Security Task Force. He was on detail to ICE’s Attaché office in Mexico City when he was fatally shot.

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