U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) stopped in Del Rio for a town hall to talk about international trade, border security, Laughlin Air Force Base and funding for local projects. The legislator received feedback from Del Rioans regarding veterans issues and social security.

Hurd, 23rd District of Texas, was greeted by Del Rioans at Rudy’s during the morning meeting, where he was introduced by Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez, and by Del Rio City Mayor Bruno Lozano.

Martinez recognized Hurd and said he was instrumental in re-establishing the Sheriff’s Office Comstock station, while Lozano highlighted the legislator’s approachability and willingness to work with the community.

Hurd highlighted local issues that need to be addressed by congress, such as border security and immigration.

“We should be able to streamline our immigration system,” the Republican said before some 60 Del Rioans attending the meeting.

Hurd said the USA Act, a bill he co-sponsored, addresses just that while it reinforces security and optimizes the use of resources.

The bill was introduced to the House in January, and provides conditional permanent resident status for an alien meeting specific requirements, including having entered the U.S. when younger than 18 years old and residing in the U.S. since Dec. 31, 2013.

The bill provides for the cancellation of removals in specific Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) cases, and repeals provisions that deny an unlawful alien eligibility for higher education benefits on the basis of residence within a state unless a U.S. citizen is eligible for such benefits without regard to whether such citizen or national is such a resident.

Hurd also spoke about the dropping unemployment rate, “raising wages in this supercharged economy, and tax cuts (which) mean more money in your pocket,” he said.

The Republican said there is a $1 billion backlog in funding for maintenance in national parks, including the eight national parks within his district, which is affecting from the Alamo all the way to Lake Amistad.

Meeting attendees asked Hurd to intervene and have local officials look into the lack of a County Veterans Service Officer, since former officeholder George Sosa is no longer employed by Val Verde County.

They said Sosa was instrumental in helping local veterans with their appointments, and that having an officer should be a priority for local officials.

Asked by meeting attendees pertaining the alleged relocation of the social security office from the Community Center, where it currently stands, to a different location in Del Rio, Hurd said he is aware of city and county officials working together.

Mayor Bruno Lozano said the issue was brought to his attention some weeks ago, and city and county officials started working together.

“We are talking with the county to get that building established, I was talking to the city manager about getting that, we have a facility. We have a facility we have already located on Las Vacas, but it sounds like the county also has a countermeasure,” Lozano said.

Hurd said his office is prepared to start talking with the Social Security Administration but “local officials need to make a decision in what the location is going to be, then we can move forward.”

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