Text: H.R.915 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 112-205 (12/07/2012)
[112th Congress Public Law 205]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[[Page 126 STAT. 1487]]
Public Law 112-205
To establish a Border Enforcement Security Task Force program to enhance
border security by fostering coordinated efforts among Federal, State,
and local border and law enforcement officials to protect United States
border cities and communities from trans-national crime, including
violence associated with drug trafficking, arms smuggling, illegal alien
trafficking and smuggling, violence, and kidnapping along and across the
international borders of the United States, and for other
purposes. <<NOTE: Dec. 7, 2012 - [H.R. 915]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Jaime Zapata
Border Enforcement Security Task Force Act.>>
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 6 USC 101 note.>> SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Jaime Zapata Border Enforcement
Security Task Force Act''.
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 6 USC 240 note.>> FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF
Congress finds the following:
(1) The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) overriding
mission is to lead a unified national effort to protect the
United States. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) is the largest investigative agency within DHS and is
charged with enforcing a wide array of laws, including laws
related to securing the border and combating criminal smuggling.
(2) Mexico's northern border with the United States has
experienced a dramatic surge in border crime and violence in
recent years due to intense competition between Mexican drug
cartels and criminal smuggling organizations that employ
predatory tactics to realize their profits.
(3) Law enforcement agencies at the United States northern
border also face challenges from transnational smuggling
(4) In response, DHS has partnered with Federal, State,
local, tribal, and foreign law enforcement counterparts to
create the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST)
initiative as a comprehensive approach to addressing border
security threats. These multi-agency teams are designed to
increase information-sharing and collaboration among the
participating law enforcement agencies.
(5) BEST teams incorporate personnel from ICE, United States
Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives (ATFE), the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), and the U.S.
Attorney's Office (USAO), along with other key Federal, State
and local law enforcement agencies.
[[Page 126 STAT. 1488]]
(6) Foreign law enforcement agencies participating in BEST
include Mexico's Secretaria de Seguridad Publica (SSP), the
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Ontario Provincial
Police (OPP), and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
SEC. 3. BORDER ENFORCEMENT SECURITY TASK FORCE.
(a) In General.--Subtitle C of title IV of the Homeland Security Act
of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 231 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the
``SEC. 432. <<NOTE: 6 USC 240 note.>> BORDER ENFORCEMENT SECURITY
``(a) Establishment.--There is established within the Department a
program to be known as the Border Enforcement Security Task Force
(referred to in this section as `BEST').
``(b) Purpose.--The purpose of BEST is to establish units to enhance
border security by addressing and reducing border security threats and
``(1) facilitating collaboration among Federal, State,
local, tribal, and foreign law enforcement agencies to execute
coordinated activities in furtherance of border security, and
homeland security; and
``(2) enhancing information-sharing, including the
dissemination of homeland security information among such
``(c) Composition and Establishment of Units.--
``(1) Composition.--BEST units may be comprised of personnel
``(A) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
``(B) U.S. Customs and Border Protection;
``(C) the United States Coast Guard;
``(D) other Department personnel, as appropriate
``(E) other Federal agencies, as appropriate;
``(F) appropriate State law enforcement agencies;
``(G) foreign law enforcement agencies, as
``(H) local law enforcement agencies from affected
border cities and communities; and
``(I) appropriate tribal law enforcement agencies.
``(2) Establishment of units.--The Secretary is authorized
to establish BEST units in jurisdictions in which such units can
contribute to BEST missions, as appropriate. Before establishing
a BEST unit, the Secretary shall consider--
``(A) whether the area in which the BEST unit would
be established is significantly impacted by cross-border
``(B) the availability of Federal, State, local,
tribal, and foreign law enforcement resources to
participate in the BEST unit;
``(C) the extent to which border security threats
are having a significant harmful impact in the
jurisdiction in which the BEST unit is to be
established, and other jurisdictions in the country; and
``(D) whether or not an Integrated Border
Enforcement Team already exists in the area in which the
BEST unit would be established.
``(3) Duplication of efforts.--In determining whether to
establish a new BEST unit or to expand an existing BEST unit in
a given jurisdiction, the Secretary shall ensure that the BEST
unit under consideration does not duplicate the
[[Page 126 STAT. 1489]]
efforts of other existing interagency task forces or centers
within that jurisdiction.
``(d) Operation.--After determining the jurisdictions in which to
establish BEST units under subsection (c)(2), and in order to provide
Federal assistance to such jurisdictions, the Secretary may--
``(1) direct the assignment of Federal personnel to BEST,
subject to the approval of the head of the department or agency
that employs such personnel; and
``(2) take other actions to assist Federal, State, local,
and tribal entities to participate in BEST, including providing
financial assistance, as appropriate, for operational,
administrative, and technological costs associated with the
participation of Federal, State, local, and tribal law
enforcement agencies in BEST.
``(e) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date on which BEST
is established under this section, and annually thereafter for the
following 5 years, the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress that
describes the effectiveness of BEST in enhancing border security and
reducing the drug trafficking, arms smuggling, illegal alien trafficking
and smuggling, violence, and kidnapping along and across the
international borders of the United States, as measured by crime
statistics, including violent deaths, incidents of violence, and drug-
(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents under section 1(b) of
the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101(b)) is amended by
inserting after the item relating to section 431 the following:
``Sec. 432. Border Enforcement Security Task Force.''.
Approved December 7, 2012.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 915:
HOUSE REPORTS: No. 112-268 (Comm. on Homeland Security).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 112-206 (Comm. on Homeland Security and Governmental
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 158 (2012):
May 30, considered and passed House.
Sept. 21, considered and passed Senate, amended.
Nov. 27, House concurred in Senate amendment.