The naming of a border patrol checkpoint in recognition of a U.S. Borden Patrol agent who was killed in the field by criminals who were in this country illegally is absolutely the right message our country should be delivering right now when it comes to immigration issues.

Both Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump have pledged during their tenure to eliminate those with criminal backgrounds who are in the United States illegally. Rightfully, those people should be a priority for deportation.

Commemorating a heroic officer who gave his life fighting against criminal elements is most worthy of our respect and praise.

We encourage, and frankly we expect, President Trump to sign into law a bill that the U.S. House passed on Tuesday evening to rename the Border Patrol checkpoint in Sarita on U.S. Highway 77 North in honor of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr., who was killed in 2014 by two undocumented immigrants who had both been arrested and deported multiple times.

Officials say Vega was shot when the two men tried to rob him while he was off duty fishing in Raymondville with his family. His father also was shot and his young children witnessed the event.

The renaming of the Sarita checkpoint after him would send a strong message of support for law enforcement agents, who we have long held are the key to the front line in our country’s immigration struggle.

Vega, 36, was a native of La Feria and a veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He worked at the Sarita checkpoint as a canine handler with his dog, Goldie.

U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, co-sponsored the legislation, the Javier Vega Jr. Memorial Act of 2017, along with U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, sponsored the legislation in the Senate.

“Agent Vega is remembered as a dedicated, loyal agent and U.S. Marine whose commitment to protecting our communities in South Texas should serve as an example to us all. By renaming this checkpoint we want to ensure that his faithful service to our nation will never be forgotten,” said McCaul, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

“Javier Vega dedicated himself to public service, and his sacrifice in defense of his country and his family will never be forgotten,” Vela said. “Our nation owes Mr. Vega and his family an immeasurable debt of gratitude.”

Yes we do.

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