The Uniqueness of El Paso

I just came across this article on El Paso, Texas being designated the 3rd safest city in the country. The article mainly discusses a study examining the relationship between immigration and crime. It also describes how El Paso embraces immigrants in its community.  I spent a good portion of my life living, studying, and working in El Paso. As an assistant to a former mayor of the city, I can vouch that El Paso is very proud of its safety designation.

I attended The University of Texas at El Paso where I completed both my undergraduate and graduate work. The campus literally sits on the border between the United States and Mexico. The Rio Grande, which is the natural border between the U.S. and Mexico,  can be seen winding through the dusty desert by looking out the window of any tall building. Campus life was, and continues to be, a truly bicultural experience at UTEP with Mexican students crossing the border daily to attend classes.

One section in this article was particularly interesting:

What’s happening with Latinos is true of most immigrant groups throughout U.S. history. “Overall, immigrants have a stake in this country, and they recognize it,” Northeastern University’s Levin says. “They’re really an exceptional sort of American. They come here having left their family and friends back home. They come at some cost to themselves in terms of security and social relationships. They are extremely success-oriented, and adjust very well to the competitive circumstances in the United States.”

Having worked at the UTEP Career Services office close to five years, I had the opportunity to counsel many students who came from this background. I was continually inspired by their commitment to improve their lives through education and hard work. Although some may not have been at the top of their class, each had the work ethic and determination typical of immigrants outlined in this article. Many of the UTEP graduates I advised returned to campus as recruiters  ready to share their success stories with other students. And so it goes.