Cornyn, Vela Statements on Border Patrol Decision to Reclassify Agent Vega’s Death as Line of Duty Fatality

In: All News   Posted 09/21/2016

WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and U.S. Representative Filemon Vela (TX-34) issued the following statements after U.S. Customs and Border Protection decided to reclassify the 2014 death of Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr. as a line of duty fatality:

“Agent Vega dedicated his life to serving our country and protecting his community,” Sen. Cornyn said. “While today’s announcement is long overdue, this recognition will honor his service and begin to ensure his family receives the benefits they deserve. “ 

“I would like to thank Senator John Cornyn for joining with me to deliver justice to the family of Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega and I commend CBP and the Department of Homeland Security for classifying his death as being in the line of duty.  Today’s announcement honors Agent Vega’s work, commitment and service to his country. I hope that today’s decision brings some measure of comfort to his family, his friends and his fellow agents,” Vela said. 

Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Vela 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 and help to make sure his family receives the corresponding benefits afforded public safety officers who are killed in the line of duty. Agent Vega was fishing in Raymondville, Texas when he was murdered while protecting his family from two individuals suspected of ties to transnational organized crime. Classifying Agent Vega’s death as a line of duty fatality is appropriate because he was responding to a clear violation of law, and it would allow his family to obtain survivor benefits earned through service to his country.