Entering El Paso, the train runs parallel to the Mexican border for a small stretch, about 100 feet away from the fences. Wow. It’s a different world on the other side of the border. I’ve heard the term shanty town before. Now I’ve seen one.

Stepping off the train for a brief stop in El Paso, we are hit by a sweltering wave of heat. Football practice at the University of Texas-El Paso, which we passed on the way to the station, must be brutal in late August.