WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement today after his bill 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 passed the U.S. House of Representatives. S. 1716 passed the Senate on August 3, 2017, and it will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“Agent Vega’s heroism certainly merits this honor,” said Sen. Cornyn. “In addition to donning his uniform to serve our nation every day, Agent Vega paid the ultimate sacrifice while defending his family and community. His death was tragic, but I’m grateful this bill will now head to the President’s desk so that all who pass through the Sarita checkpoint can recognize his service and sacrifice.”
Agent Vega was fishing in Raymondville, Texas on August 3, 2014 when he was murdered while protecting his family from two armed robbers who were 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.
Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Judiciary, and Intelligence Committees.