The Democrat mayor of a Texas border town - which he said just 14 months ago wasn't a 'war zone' - chewed out staffers for Republican Senator John Cornyn, who he accused of not taking steps to help control the surge of migrants that are overwhelming local resources.
Bruno Lozano - Del Rio's youngest and first openly gay mayor, implored the Congressman's office to see what the city is dealing with firsthand, according to the Conservative Review.
"I asked that you go see firsthand and walk through what the Border Patrol is walking through, walk through the system of release, walk through the coalition [of nonprofits and churches], walk through the judicial process, because the senators aren’t here," said Lozano to Cornyn staffer Jonathan Huhn, while slamming absentee Senators.
"They need to see firsthand what’s going on. They need to understand the frustrations that the commissioners, or that the city council, the school board, the hospital officials are managing [and] having to deal with."
Of note, the Texas Tribune reported in March that Border Patrol's Del Rio sector had begun releasing migrants into the community because it "has experienced a significant rise in the number of family units arrested throughout the sector."
Lozano went on to describe how managing immigration was 'not their jurisdiction,' and that city officials need to focus on their 'streets, parks and economy.'
We do not have the funds to fund this project that has manifested and been dumped here in the city of Del Rio Texas, Val Verde County, and the entire border. And we’re frustrated. We’re extremely frustrated. Our priorities on the city council are our streets, are our parks, are the economy, are the drive of the community and the places of worship and the places to have leisure activities. It is not the priority to solve immigration. … I will not stand for having to be dumped and find a solution, as mayor … for immigration. It is not our purview; it is not our jurisdiction. It is your job to ensure that you convey the frustration that I share with you all to ensure that our representatives at the federal level are hearing it. It’s falling on deaf ears, and we are tired of it. We are sick and tired of the deaf ears. … It’s happening in real time. -Del Rio, Texas Mayor Bruno Lozano
As the Conservative Review's Daniel Horowitz notes, Lozano's outburst at the June 8th special meeting of local officials is quite the turnaround for the left-wing mayor and veteran - who said in April 2018 that he wanted to 'educate northerners' that the border is not a "war zone."
That tells you just how rapidly things have changed, with Del Rio becoming a transit zone for migrants from all over the world coming and draining city transportation services as well as the town’s only hospital.
Watching this mayor’s reaction to the border crisis brings to mind similar reactions from officials in Broward and Palm Beach Counties in Florida last month, when they heard a rumor that 1,000 illegal aliens would be dumped into their counties. These are very Democrat jurisdictions, but even they had zero appetite for the strains of illegal immigrants. -Conservative Review
Del Rio made headlines recently after PBS reported on Sunday that Del Rio Sector Border Patrol apprehended over 500 African migrants, most of whom are from the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and Cameroon.
One recent Saturday in Tijuana, there were 90 Cameroonians lined up to get on a waiting list to request asylum that has swelled to about 7,500 names. Also on the waiting list are Ethiopians, Eritreans, Mauritanians, Sudanese and Congolese.
Cameroonians generally fly to Ecuador because no visa is required and take about four months to reach Tijuana. They walk for days in Panama through dense forest, where they are often robbed and held in government-run camps. They come from Cameroon’s English-speaking south with horrifying stories of rape, murder and torture since late 2016 by soldiers of the country’s French-speaking majority, which holds power. -PBS
Of note, approximately 10-15% of migrants have a "legitimate asylum claim" according to CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.