Border militarization, not immigration, is what is making El Paso unsafe, residents say.

by Sam Carliner, Truthout

El Paso, Texas, has increasingly become the subject of an intense national conversation.

The New York TimesThe Washington Post and Wall Street Journal report that migrant surges are straining the city, the country and the economy. These are just three headlines from a barrage of coverage of the “crisis” at the border.

Nastassia Artalejo, an El Paso resident whose family has lived in the city for generations, is sick of hearing her home described this way.

“It’s really frustrating to be here and see and hear so many polarizing opinions,” Artalejo said. “So much of what is talked about in the media is from a third-party or outsider perspective, as opposed to the opinion being from someone that actually lives here.”

El Paso border with Juarez

Ivonne Diaz, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient and immigrant rights activist, expressed similar frustration.

“When I meet with people that don’t live here and are visiting for the first time, they say it’s nothing like [they’ve] been hearing,” Diaz said. “El Paso is not like how they put it in the news.”

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