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Jaime Zapata Border Enforcement Security Task Force Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise in strong support of H.R. 915, the Jaime Zapata Border Enforcement Security Task Force Act. H.R. 915 would, for the first time, statutorily authorize an important border security program, the BEST program.

Under BEST, ICE partners with Federal, State, local, and foreign law enforcement counterparts to establish targeted, cross-agency teams to identify, disrupt, and dismantle criminal organizations posing significant threats to the border security. Currently, the BEST programs has 31 teams located at our Nation's northern and southern borders, as well as at seaports and places as varied as Tucson, Arizona; Detroit, Michigan; the New York Seaport; and Mexico City, Mexico.

To date, BEST units have initiated more than 6,800 cases, resulting in criminal and administrative arrests and the seizure of significant quantities of narcotics, weapons, ammunition, and currency.

Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the original sponsor of the legislation under consideration, the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Cuellar).

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