Texas Gov. Abbott Names First Ever Border Czar

A new “border czar” has been named to oversee border security in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Mike Banks (a retired U.S. Border Patrol agent) will be his “border czar” to oversee Texas’ border security.

President Joe Biden named Vice President Kamala Harris the President “border czar” in 2021, claiming she’d be involved with border security efforts. Harris continues to be criticised for failing to provide oversight, not visiting the border, and repeatedly claiming the border was closed multiple times as record numbers of illegal alien nationals were apprehended, or evade capture, federal data shows.

Abbott claimed that he invented a “Special Advisor on Border Matters” Texas’s first-ever border czar. He is determined to do what the federal government has rejected to do.

Abbott made the announcement before a section of the border wall that is being built in San Benito (Texas), in Cameron County. He was joined by Steve McCraw, Texas Department of Public Safety Director, and Major General Thomas Suelzer, Texas Military Department.

“Building a border wall and adding hundreds of miles of other barriers,” Abbott stated, “is only one way that Texas is responding to President Biden’s refusal to enforce the immigration laws of the United States of America.”

Referring to Texas’ law enforcement efforts through Operation Lone Star, he said, “We have turned back more than 32,000 illegal immigrants trying to cross into our country. We’ve arrested more than 24,000 criminals. We have enough fentanyl in our possession to kill every American woman, man and child. We have also targeted cartels profiting from President Biden’s illegal immigration policies.

“Illegal immigration in Texas is a full-time job,” Abbott stated that Mike Banks was his. “the perfect choice” To be Texas’ first ever border czar. Banks, who is a veteran of serving in Washington, D.C. and three states, has served under four presidents. “has seen firsthand the struggles of ranchers and communities caused by open borders,” Abbott said. “He understands the dangerous impacts that Mexican cartels have on our country.”

Banks, who served as a Border Patrol agent for over 23 years, stated that he was “humbled” by the opportunity to help protect the southern border, something he’d dedicated his life to and was very passionate about. He hoped to strengthen relationships with law enforcement partners and the community to continue Texas’ border security efforts, he said.

Abbott stated that the cost of building a border wall will be $25 million per mile. This will vary depending on where it is built. Part of the cost is associated with the materials, but the other part is acquiring the rights to build on the land – meaning paying private landowners for part of their property.

“One thing that has slowed our process” He said that he was involved in the construction of the border wall. “was getting those rights.” The state now accelerates building more walls after it has acquired land rights, he stated.

The Texas Facilities Commission started research in 2021 and began the procurement process to construct the wall. On Dec. 18, 2021, Abbott debuted the construction of Texas’ first border wall on state land in Rio Grande City.

On June 20, 2022, the first 1.7-mile section of the wall’s construction in Starr County was completed, according to TFC.

TFC Executive Director Mike Novak testified before the state Senate Finance Committee last July saying that in less than a year’s time, TFC had completed the first segment of the program’s permanent infrastructure. TFC, a small state agency employing less than 400 people, assumed the job of U.S. Army Corp of Engineers with 37,000 employees. “to solicit, contract, engineer, and construct a permanent wall along the Texas- Mexico border.”

Texas DPS identified around 40 miles “of the highest priority to secure the border.” State budget for border wall construction is $1 billion at $25 million per mile

TFC approved the purchase of bollard panels worth $43 million to construct 12.8 miles of border wall. It continued to approve building plans over the subsequent months. By December of last year, installation of another segment began in Cameron County – the site where Abbott made the announcement on Monday.

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