Border security bill honoring slain ICE Agent Jaime Zapata passes

Bill introduced by U.S. Rep Henry Cuellar, aims to target criminal organizations

Published On: Nov 28 2012 03:55:28 AM CST

A bill intended to increase border security, and named after slain ICE Agent Jaime Zapata, just needs President Barack Obama's signature to become law.

The bill known as the Jaime Zapata Border Enforcement Security Task Force Act or BEST overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday with a 397-4 vote.

The bill was created to target criminal organizations that threaten border security and gives Congress the ability to directly oversee funds for border law enforcement units. It was introduced by U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and already has Senate approval.  

Cuellar said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C., the bill allows federal law enforcement agencies to work together and coordinate to fight criminal organizations along the border and honors Agent Zapata, who was gunned down by suspected members of the Zetas drug cartel last year in Mexico.