I. immigration // El paso, texas
Visiting El Paso, Texas felt like a look into America's future. The metropolitan area of more than 2 million people, stands on the Rio Grande River directly across the U.S.-Mexico border from Ciudad Juarez, the largest city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. More than 80 percent of El Paso’s population is of Latin American descent, giving the region a warm and open multicultural feel. We were most surprised to learn although crime and violence have plagued Juarez for years, paradoxically, El Paso remains one of the safest cities in North America. In the face of ongoing calls in the U.S. for construction of a 1,900-mile wall along the border, El Paso’s pragmatic and humane approach to immigration may serve as a model as the rest of the nation grapples with fears and tensions that separate us.