On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he had appointed a “border czar” to help tackle the issue of illegal immigration in the state.
Michael Banks, who is a retired U.S. Border Patrol agent, is taking on the role. According to WAVY, Banks spent more than 20 years in border security and federal law enforcement. In the U.S. Border Patrol, Banks served in the Rio Grande Valley, Arizona and California. Previously, he served a decade in the military.
“For me, the No.1 priority is to make the State of Texas the least desirable place for illegal immigration to cross,” Banks said on Monday.
“Protecting our nation’s border is something I have dedicated the last 23 years of my life to, and I am very passionate about it. I look forward to strengthening our relationships with law enforcement partners and the community, leveraging all that we can to further protect our great state of Texas and the United States,” he added in a statement.
Abbott noted that Banks’ “only focus” will be on “President Biden’s open border policies,” which have caused Border Patrol agents to encounter around 2.4 million illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2022.
Since 2022, Texas has continued to install a wall protecting the U.S.-Mexico border despite the Biden administration’s efforts to stop its construction.
Late last month, the New York Post reported that a massive tent, larger than a football field, was being put up near El Paso to operate as an “overflow” facility to process migrants. “It’s still going to get worse before it even gets better, and that’s what we’re preparing for,” El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser told reporters when the tent was constructed. Security guards at the tent city outside El Paso told Daily Mail that the facility could be in place for “a few weeks, six months, we don’t know.”