National

Along the dry, rocky desert of El Paso, Texas, a brown fence stretches for miles. The fence marks the southern U.S. border that separates El Paso from its Mexican sister city, Juarez.

Twenty-two-year-old Antonio Villaseñor-Baca was born and raised in El Paso. His hometown is part of a huge "borderplex," where three cities — El Paso, Texas; Las Cruces, N.M.; and Juarez, Mexico — converge. Villaseñor-Baca has an uncle in Juarez, and while growing up, his dad would take him back and forth over the border a lot.

To Villaseñor-Baca, Juarez doesn't seem like another country.

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Music and politics have always been intertwined, from "Yankee Doodle" to "A Change is Gonna Come." And that's true in Zimbabwe, too — a country that is now facing a historic political transition.

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In May, Lourdes walked across the bridge from Mexico to El Paso, Texas, and requested asylum. The first step is an interview with an asylum officer.

"I told him that I have the evidence on me," Lourdes said, through an interpreter. She told the asylum officer about the scar on her arm, and the four missing fingers on her left hand — all evidence, she says, of a brutal attack by a gang in her native Honduras.

But the asylum officer rejected her claim.

"I don't know what happened," Lourdes said. "I don't know how I failed."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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