El Paso has been ranked as the safest city in the U.S. with over 500,000 citizens for the third year in a row. This statement has been released in several different newspapers including Fox Latino, and the El Paso News. Officials attribute this fact to the increased border security and a sense of community that they have instilled in the city and its people There has been a decrease in illegal immigration since the construction of the border wall. So, with all that being said, it makes perfect sense that El Paso Texas could be named the safest city in the U.S.

However, this statement sounds like a ridiculous claim. El Paso is located right on the border next to one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico, Cuidad Jaures. Jaures is all over the news with headlines about the drug cartel and how many causalities there have been. So how can a city that is so close to a danger zone be so safe?

I grew up in the city of Brownsville Texas, which sits right between the Mexican border and the Gulf of Mexico. So, I know first hand how much violence spills over from across the border. My high school, St. Joseph Academy, was primarily made up of students from across the border.

They would come over every day to go to school there, often while waiting to gain full citizenship. Being around people who were in direct contact with all the violence that goes on in Mexico with the drug cartel was definitely eye opening. Brownsville is by far, much safer than Matamoros, our neighboring city in Mexico, but Brownsville often saw many of the repercussions.

Just as an example, I once had a neighbor who was kidnapped in Mexico, had all of his fingers broken, and head for a very high ransom. He was returned safely to his family, but soon after the incident they moved away. This is the kind of thing that happens everyday to unsuspecting people who live in border cities.

Regardless of the border wall and the presence of border patrol, illegal immigrants slip through the cracks. The drug cartel targets young children to do the dirty work for them on the U.S. side of the border. These are the same children that go to prom, and play baseball in the spring. Just because there is a wall, does not mean the violence stops there. The cartel is powerful and will find its way into the U.S. one way or another.

Comparatively, Austin, Texas is ranked as the fourth safest city in the U.S. Many of Austin’s natives would argue that Austin is a much safer city than El Paso. We are further away from the border. We have several major colleges making this a city full of young people. With that in mind, our police department is constantly on the look out for criminals, ensuring that our young adults are safe.

Of course, the drug cartel probably has members here as well, but like I said, they will stop at nothing. With our high way system, Austin is the perfect place for drug trafficking under the radar. Even with that being said, I would still argue that Austin is much safer than El Paso.