Isolated from other major urban centers, the COVID-19 pandemic took its time arriving in the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez region. Once it did arrive in mid-March, it became apparent that our community was particularly vulnerable. A month of lockdown gave way to a premature reopening of the Texas economy and the willingness of state political leadership to sacrifice essential workers collided with the effects of economic inequality, a historically chronic lack of investment in healthcare, and tightened immigration enforcement at the border.
After the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many other Black lives at the hands of police, communities across the nation are engaging in a reckoning over the future of policing. Violence by police against Black people and other people of color is a systemic problem rooted in our nation’s history of racist violence. Recent events have made it clearer than ever that structural change is needed.