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El Paso has been ranked the safest large city in the U. for four consecutive years The El Paso region has had human settlement for thousands of years, as evidenced by Folsom points from hunter-gatherers found at Hueco Tanks.The evidence suggests 10,000 to 12,000 years of human habitation.

El Paso stands on the Rio Grande river across the Mexico–United States border from Ciudad Juárez, the most populous city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

The two cities, along with Las Cruces in the neighboring U. state of New Mexico, form a combined international metropolitan area sometimes referred to as the Paso del Norte or El Paso–Juárez–Las Cruces.

The United States Senate fixed a boundary between Texas and New Mexico at the 32nd parallel, thus largely ignoring history and topography.

A military post called "The Post opposite El Paso" (meaning opposite El Paso del Norte, across the Rio Grande) was established in 1854.

With the arrival of the Southern Pacific, Texas and Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads in 1881, the population boomed to 10,000 by the 1890 census, with many Anglo-Americans, recent immigrants, old Hispanic settlers, and recent arrivals from Mexico. Large numbers of clerics, intellectuals, and businessmen took refuge in the city, particularly between 19.

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