Filemon Vela

Representing the 34 District of Texas

PRESS RELEASE: House Passes Vela's Bill

May 18, 2017
Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: House Passes Vela's Bill

Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 2281, the Border Enforcement Security Task Force Reauthorization Act of 2017, introduced by Congressman Filemon Vela (D-TX), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee. 

Representative Vela introduced H.R. 2281 on May 2, 2017 to reauthorize the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) program, which is led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement within the Department of Homeland Security. BEST teams focus on disrupting criminal smuggling and trafficking operations. The 44 BEST units across the nation are comprised of members from Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as well as other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies.

"I would like to thank my colleagues in the House for passing this very important legislation," said Rep. Vela. "It is essential that we take the necessary steps to advance our Nation's homeland security and to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks." 

The bill would also instruct the Department of Homeland Security to consider the cross-border threats posed by transnational criminal organizations when establishing new BEST units and requires an assessment on how BEST units enhance information-sharing among law enforcement partners. 

A video of Rep. Vela managing debate on H.R. 2281 on the House Floor can be viewed here