Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced his appointment of a border czar to head Operation Lone Star. The announcement came on Monday during a press conference in the Rio Grande Valley.
Governor Abbott appointed recently retired Border Patrol Agent Mike Banks. He has a long history of service to the Border Patrol and retired in the past few days.
“We found the right person for the job in Mike Banks,” Abbott said during the announcement. “Mike Banks is an award-winning Border Patrol agent. He has held important Border Patrol leadership positions for more than 20 years, serving under four presidents.”
Responding to the governor’s appointment, Banks told reporters in South Texas, “I am humbled to be selected by Governor Abbott for this opportunity. 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.”
Most recently, Banks served as the Patrol Agent in Charge of one of the largest Border Patrol stations in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, officials told Breitbart Texas on Monday. Prior to that, he served in Washington, D.C., at Border Patrol headquarters under U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz. Banks also served briefly as an acting chief patrol agent along the U.S.-Canada Border.
Abbott said that Banks, while serving along the Texas border with Mexico, personally observed the damage and destruction experienced by Texas ranchers and communities caused by human smugglers and the flow of migrants through private property.
“Mike will tap his expertise to deploy strategies that reduce illegal immigration and keep our community safe,” the Texas governor continued. “He will work on things like the surge operation like we used in El Paso last month.”
Banks will report directly to Governor Abbott and will be based in the border region in Weslaco, Texas. He is expected to use his experience as a Border Patrol agent and manager to work with local leaders and other law enforcement agencies, the governor added.
“We’re not gonna stand idly by while the Biden Administration refuses to enforce the immigration laws as our borders are,” Abbott concluded. “Mike Banks will work with stakeholders and communities, law enforcement on the streets to enforce the laws on the books and drive down illegal crossings. He has a proven record of going toe-to-toe with the cartels and winning now, he will bring that winning record to help protect Texas from Biden’s open border policies.”
The governor took advantage of the announcement to show off a section of 30-foot border walls being constructed near Los Indios, Texas. The state is also working on a new section of border wall in the Laredo Sector, Breitbart Texas reported last week.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.