Del Rio Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano has been speaking to anyone and everyone who will listen about the rising tide of illegal immigrants flooding through the area.
Lozano has been interviewed by media outlets large and small, from the national to the local, and has been an outspoken critic of the laws and policies that are allowing the current migrant surge.
Lozano told the 830 Times one of the reasons he has been so vocal about the situation is the timing of the first wave of the surge.
“It all started when we were trying to manage the winter weather disaster in the city of Del Rio on and after Feb. 14, and the frustration came when I was trying to manage, along with our emergency management coordinator and response teams, how to provide the appropriate response to our citizens and our community locally,” Lozano said.
He said he received his first notification that groups of migrants would be released into the community Feb. 16, less than two days after the city’s first snowstorm.
“I was trying to deal with personally not having any electricity at my home and much of the community not having electricity, and then we didn’t have running water, and my frustration grew from that moment on, because it was obvious the federal government was not paying attention to how they are affecting municipal governments,” he said.
“We were responding to our community’s needs first. (The migrant release) just placed us between a rock and a hard place. That’s where it emanated from, and that’s where it started, this most recent frustration and my speaking out about it,” Lozano added.
The mayor said he was somewhat frustrated during the 2019 migrant surge under the Trump administration, but said he believed the Trump administration began to enact policies that were effective because those policies did not give immigrants the incentive to cross into the U.S. illegally.
Lozano said he knew when he began speaking out most recently that some media outlets and networks would play up the current immigrant situation more than others, a symptom, he said, “of our split and polarized nation.”
“At the same time, I’m not just going to sit here as a mayor, who is a registered Democrat, and not share my frustrations over the current situation. I feel that it’s my duty to protect my community. That’s who I was elected to represent – Del Rioans. My perspective on this entire matter currently is that there’s no plan, and that’s where the story took off,” Lozano said.
Lozano also made an attempt to reach President Joe Biden personally.
Biden has other priorities.