Texas, a state on the frontlines of the ongoing illegal migrant crisis facing America, has appointed a new border czar who plans to make the state the ‘least desirable place’ for delinquent crossers to end up.
Retired US Border Patrol agent Michael Banks was named to the job on Monday.
He will report directly to GOP Governor Greg Abbott and be tasked with handling surges at the border – like the one that notably impacted the city of El Paso in December.
His duties will also including attempting to convince private landowners to give the state of Texas access to their property to continue adding miles to its border wall.
Michael Banks (right) discusses his new role as Texas’ border czar alongside the state’s Governor Greg Abbott (left) on Monday January 30, 2023
When asked about his new role, Banks told the press that his ‘number one priority is to make the State of Texas the least desirable place for illegal immigrant to cross.’
Abbott said that Banks’ only responsibility will be responding to the current administration’s ‘open border policies.’
Abbott announced the creation of the position Banks now holds in the border town of San Benito.
Recent data from US Customs and Border Patrol showed approximately 2.4million encounters with migrants attempting to illegally cross the US border during the last fiscal year.
That figure is the highest on record.
US Border Patrol forces remain focused on the embattled city of El Paso, which in the last several weeks has become the single busiest border crossing location in the country.
In the last three months alone, officers in El Paso have encountered some 162,603 migrants attempting to enter the country – more than triple the amount encountered during the same time period last year.
The number of migrants crossing over the US southern border since January 2021 when the Biden administration took over the White House has surge
Most of the foreigners attempting to enter the country arrived from a handful of South and Central American points of origin – Nicaragua, Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia.
Sixty-four percent of the migrants arriving were single adults. Nearly a third were families with children, and another 8,000 were unaccompanied minors.
Four-hundred Texas National Guard troops, as well as Texas state troopers were dispatched to El Paso to assist the overwhelmed Border Patrol agents.
El Paso Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Peter Jaquez said: ‘The first quarter of FY2023 demonstrated the complexity of the southwest border, with the recent migrant influx, and the challenges that our agents and migrants face during these times.’
Banks’ new job has been described as a response to Joe Biden’s ‘open border policies’
Texas Governor Greg Abbott spoke about the ongoing need to secure the US border on Monday as he announced the appointment of his state’s new border czar
The Mayor of El Paso Oscar Leeser (2nd R) is led away as President Joe Biden (2nd L) walks along the US-Mexico border fence in El Paso, Texas, on January 8, 2023. – Biden went to the US-Mexico border earlier this month for the first time since taking office
Extensive lines of illegal immigrants waiting for the next bus out of town have taken shape
Migrants queue near the border fence, after crossing the Rio Bravo river, to request asylum in El Paso, Texas, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 5, 2023
Asylum-seeking migrants from Haiti walk before crossing the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to U.S Border Patrol agents to request asylum in El Paso, Texas last spring
So far in fiscal year 2023, there have been 863,929 total documented Customs and Border Patrol encounters.
The figure indicates that the true number of attempted crossings is well into the millions.
In the final month of 2022, there were 225,797 unique individuals encountered by the CBP at the border across the country – the highest number for a monthly total on record and a 10 percent increase over November figures.
Biden’s migration headache EXPLODES: a record 242million people across Latin America now want to leave, many eyeing the US, as border crisis intensifies
- Share of would-be migrants jumped from 18 to 37 percent this past decade
- Latin America now on par with sub-Saharan Africa for numbers seeking an exit
- Survey comes after record 251,487 encounters at southern border in December
The number of people in Latin America and the Caribbean who wish to migrate has jumped this past decade to 242 million, many eyeing the US, heightening fears about the border crisis.
In 2011, only 18 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean wanted to permanently leave their homes. By 2021, that had risen to 37 percent of the region’s 655 million people, Gallup polling shows.
The desire to migrate rose faster in South America than anywhere else in the world. By the end of 2021, the share of Latinos wishing to migrate was on a par with those in poverty-wracked sub-Saharan Africa.
In some South American nations — Honduras, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic — as much as half of the total population expressed a desire to move and live abroad permanently.
In 2011, only 18 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean wanted to permanently leave their home countries. By 2021, that had risen to 37 percent of the region’s 655 million people, a Gallup survey shows
The survey comes amid record numbers of migrants trying to enter the US irregularly from Mexico, with Republicans criticizing President Joe Biden, a Democrat, over what they call his ‘loose’ or ‘open’ border.
Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a right-leaning advocacy group, said the survey revealed ‘enormous pent-up demand’ to migrate north to the US.
‘We can see how President Biden has created a dangerous and volatile situation as every month, millions more formulate the intentions and plans to try to move,’ Stein told DailyMail.com.
Migrants come from South America and the Caribbean in search of a better life for them and their families. Many are fleeing corrupt and inept leftist governments in such nations as Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
But border locals and critics of the immigration policy view the current numbers as unsustainable and balk at the prospect of hundreds of millions more also laying plans to head north.
Globally, the desire to migrate has reached ‘decade-high levels’ in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and other regions, said Gallup, which polled 127,000 people aged 15 and older across 122 countries last year.
The US remains the favored destination for the world’s migrants, though the share eyeing America has fallen slightly this past decade to 18 percent
In some South American nations — Honduras, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic — as much as half of the total population expressed a desire to move and live abroad permanently
Asylum-seeking migrants from Venezuela cross the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to US Border Patrol agents to request asylum in El Paso, Texas, late last year
President Biden, in the White House this month, is under fire over his border policy
Still, not everyone with a desire to migrate is able to do so, researchers added.
The US remains the favored destination for the world’s migrants, though the share eyeing America has dropped slightly to 18 percent this past decade. Canada, Germany, Spain and France round out the top five destinations.
In previous surveys, Gallup has found that America was the favored end point for more than a third of Latin America and the Caribbean’s would-be migrants.
The survey was released on Tuesday amid a surge of Cubans and Haitians traversing the Caribbean by boat to reach Florida’s shores, and record flows of people trying to cross the southwestern border.
The border city of Yuma, Arizona, is at breaking point with the unprecedented flow of migrants leaving the community at the brink of collapse and hospitals and food banks overloaded, local officials say.
Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines has slammed the Biden administration for its handling of the border crisis and said his county will crumble as it can’t support the cascading flow of migrants.
Customs and Border officials say there were 251,487 migrant encounters at the border in December. That’s the highest figure for a single month ever, and brings the latest three-month total up to 717,600.
Immigrants line up to present themselves to U.S. Border Patrol agents after spending the night camped alongside the U.S.-Mexico border fence on December 22, 2022
Thousands of Venezuelans rallied against the government of Nicolas Maduro and demanded salary increases in Maracaibo this week. Millions have spilled across the country’s borders in recent years
Military police frisking a group of men at a checkpoint during a special operation against criminal gangs in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, last month. Many people wish to escape poverty and insecurity across Central America
Last month saw a surge in unauthorized immigration due to uncertainty over Title 42, a Trump-era policy that has expelled migrants at the border since the start of the pandemic.
Some 5 million migrants have crossed over the US southern border since January 2021 when the Biden administration took over the White House, according to the agency.
The Biden administration has launched new schemes to allow more Latinos into the US legally and advised unauthorized migrants to stay at home, but Republicans still blame him for unruly scenes at the US-Mexico frontier.
Stein said Biden’s plan to ‘parole in more people’ was no solution.
‘That merely incentivizes more to come until conditions in the US replicate those of the sending nations,’ he told DailyMail.com.