Earlier this year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jaime Zapata was tragically shot and killed in the line of duty while driving between Monterrey and Mexico City, Mexico. Since then, ICE and its community partners have made every effort to celebrate his life. At only 32 years old, Zapata had the world ahead of him.
Jaime Zapata's hometown of Brownsville, Texas, came together this week to celebrate his life. The city held a special ceremony to rename a street close to Zapata's parents' home, Jaime J. Zapata Avenue. After the ceremony concluded, Zapata's family was the first to drive down the street named after their son. That's when they were met with another surprise.
"The City of Brownsville had gone ahead and also renamed the private drive leading to their house as Jaime Jorge Drive," said Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge of the ICE Homeland Security Investigations San Antonio Office.
This kind act on behalf of the City of Brownsville has helped preserve Zapata's legacy for generations to come. Robinette notes that each time his family travels along these two streets, they'll be reminded that their son and brother sacrificed his life to protect others.
Zapata joined ICE in 2006. He was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Special Agent in Charge in Laredo, Texas, where he served on the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit, as well as the Border Enforcement Security Task Force. At the time of his death, he was detailed to ICE's attaché office at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.