Bruno Lozano, the Democratic mayor of Del Rio, Texas, a small town on the U.S. Mexican border, is disheartened with the lack of action taken by the federal government to solve the current crisis at the southern border. During a town hall meeting with the staffs of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), Mayor Lozano rebuked the federal government and lawmakers, stating "we are sick and tired of the deaf ears," for failing to protect towns like his from illegal immigration.
The Mayor criticized the government and lawmakers alike, calling for more of an active approach in combatting illegal immigration, which he says has overrun his town. He then urged lawmakers to physically visit the border and adjacent towns to comprehend the situation:
They need to see firsthand what's going on. They need to understand the frustration that the commissioners, or the city council, the school board, the hospital officials are managing [and] having to deal with. 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 [of the city council] to solve immigration.
The Democratic Mayor then focused on the point that it is unusual and unfair to ask small towns to handle issues related to asylum seekers and immigration. Adding, this is where he, and his town, need the federal government to step up and begin to work towards sensible solutions to help quell the humanitarian and security crisis on the southern border, as reported by Fox News.
This outcry comes as Customs and Border Patrol released the startling numbers of a new surge of immigrants coming through the southern border, this time coming from Central Africa. According to CBP, since May 30, over 500 people from Central African countries have been arrested by the agency in the Del Rio Sector of the Texas/Mexico border.
Just over two weeks ago, the United States and Mexico signed a joint agreement in hopes of working together to help end the crisis at the southern border. A Mexican official sought Monday to portray the U.S.-Mexico immigration agreement as an overnight success, declaring that illegal border crossings had fallen by nearly half, a just ten days after the countries issued a joint declaration, as reported by Politico. The Mexican official said U.S. Border Patrol arrested 2,600 people per day after the joint agreement was announced - that would be a drastic reduction from the daily average of 4,300 border apprehensions in May of 2019. However, a Mexican press aid later conceded that the official might have been talking about a single-day drop in illegal border crossings.
As part of the deal to avoid tariffs threatened by President Trump, Mexico vowed to deploy 6,000 members of its newly formed National Guard to help stem the flow of illegal aliens hoping to claim asylum in the U.S. who travel through Mexico from other Central American countries. In addition to this interior enforcement effort promised by Mexico, the country also agreed to allow the U.S. to expand the implementation of its "remain in Mexico" program, which requires certain non-Mexican asylum seekers to stay in Mexico pending the resolution of their U.S. asylum case.
Initially undisclosed to the public, the immigration deal between the U.S. and Mexico also included a "supplemental agreement" to evaluate the success of the newly instituted measures after 45 days, and again at 90. If the U.S. remained unconvinced of the plan's results, the countries agreed they would engage in talks relating to a broader regional asylum deal or "safe third country" pact in which immigrants who pass through such a "safe third country" to claim asylum in the United States could be turned away. However, the two countries did not agree on a unified metric to determine if the initial measures succeeded, leading many to fear a future gridlock in negotiations between the countries.
Updated: Tue, Jul 2nd 2019 @ 3:25pm EDT