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Consider El Paso from above. Consider it from, say, the perspective of a golden eagle, a winter resident of the Chihuahuan Desert. His seven-foot wingspan holds him aloft as he gazes down at this city of almost 700,000. What he would see, if he were interested in human affairs, is a sprawling desert city arranged along a valley where a river struggles to survive. He would note how El Paso spreads ever outward along its highways, gobbling up the desert eastward into far West Texas and northward toward the New Mexico state line. Our eagle would soar over Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, which sits facing El Paso on the south slope of the Rio Grande. From above, Juárez is distinguishable by its impressive density—it’s more than…
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