Last year, my sisters, sister in law and I decided to take a road trip to Eagle Pass, Texas. My sister in law´s family is from Eagle Pass. Since her husband, my brother, died a few months earlier, we wanted to spend some time together and visit some of her family members. While I had visited other border towns, I never visited Eagle Pass before. I read all the articles about border towns so I wasn´t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised.
Eagle Pass is a sleepy little town just across the border from Piedras Negras, MX. Many of the homes in town were over 100 years old. There were many large homes with sprawling porches. There was very little traffic in town. They had an old fashioned downtown. There were plenty of palm trees and the weather was beautiful.
We stayed at a nice hotel with a very friendly and welcoming staff. There was also a nice casino just outside of town. It was a bit out of the way on an Indian Reservation. It was kind of different. You drive down, twists and turns out in the middle of nowhere, then all of a sudden, you enter the Indian Reservation and you see a huge casino with bright lights and a huge parking lot.
The second day, we drove across the bridge to Mexico with the rest of the tourists. On the US side, there is a beautiful golf course on the left and on the right is a children´s play area with carnival rides for the children. Across the border there were colorful shops, a shopping mall, and a park in the middle of the city. Tourists were everywhere.
Checking Texas City Data, I see that Eagle Pass's property crime levels tend to be lower than Texas's average level. The same data shows violent crime levels in Eagle Pass tend to be much lower than Texas's average level.
Additionally the cost of living is much lower in Eagle Pass. One of those nice older homes costs about $50K, or about 1/10 the cost of the same home in California.
I think about Eagle Pass every time I see some ludicrous comments such as this one making its way around the ANTI Blogs: "Trouble is, those living areas resemble Bombay and Calcutta with grinding poverty, filth, diseases, drugs, crimes, no sanitation and worse. " These comments are similar to comments made by Tancredo about Miami being a 3rd World Country.
I have lived in Detroit, Kansas City, Chicago and lived near St. Louis. Many of these areas have extreme inner city poverty. In fact, in many of these cities, the office parking ramps close at 7:00pm to ensure office workers return home before dark. I have never seen any ANTI Blog call these cities Bombay or Calcutta. I don´t believe any of these bloggers ever visited Eagle Pass. They couldn´t have. It is a quiet, sleepy little town! And, by the way, the population is 90% Latino! (Always was this way!)