DEL RIO, TX — Del Rio Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano pleaded with President Joe Biden on Wednesday to halt the release of migrants into the area as the state faces extreme weather conditions and power shutoffs.
Mayor Lozano said the city does not have the resources available to house and care for illegal migrants flooding across the Texas-Mexico border.
“I will have no choice but to use extreme measures with an emergency declaration as the mayor of the City of Del Rio, Texas to refuse the entrances of migrants awaiting court dates into the city of Del Rio,” Lozano said.
In 2019, thousands of illegal migrants flooded across the Texas-Mexico border, many with children, declaring asylum. The procedure for the federal administrative courts at the time was to arraign each asylum seeker and then release each with a court date many months or even a year into the future. Each asylum seeker was released into the U.S. on personal recognizance bonds. Many were never seen again. The chief of the Del Rio Sector of the Customs and Border Patrol at that time warned that his border patrol agents had lost operational control of the border.
Watch: America’s Open Door
President Trump solved the problem with an agreement with Mexico to hold the asylum-seekers in Mexico camps instead of freeing each into the U.S. The “Remain in Mexico” policy worked and illegal immigration flowed to a trickle. One of the first actions of President Biden was to end Trump's Remain in Mexico policy with an executive order.
“If you send these individuals into our community, we will be forced to make a decision to leave them without resources under these dire circumstances,” Lozano warned President Biden.
Against a slideshow of empty grocery store shelves, Lozano pleads with Biden to “just stop, please make a plan for these issues,” the mayor said. “If you are going to allow these individuals into our community, I ask that you please provide the supplies and means necessary to accommodate them safely under these extreme circumstances.”
Lozano isn’t just citing the electricity outages and frigid temperatures, but also Covid-19 as obstacles for the city to care for illegal migrants declaring asylum. He added that some may tax the kidney dialysis facilities as well.
“Our nonprofits, our churches are running thin with resources to provide to our very own citizens,” the mayor said. “Additionally, we have been burdened with the inadequate communication systems throughout the entire area, which has impacted our ability to respond and coordinate limited resources and distribution.”
Del Rio has a non-profit formed by a coalition of churches to lightly care for illegal migrants, offering shelter for migrant families for one or two days before sending them off into the U.S. on a bus.
“Releasing the migrant population without any COVID-19 protection protocols is undermining your commitment to the stance against COVID-19,” Lozano begged.
Watch Del Rio Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano make his cry to President Biden for help here:
“We may be a small town that is off of your radar, but we have a community of 50,000 people who need your attention,” he said. “We are requesting that you please listen and that you please come through.”
Lozano is an openly gay mayor who is also a flight attendant for a major airline. He is also a U.S. Air Force veteran. More about Del Rio's mayor here.