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For Love, There are no Borders

November 22, 2017

Wedding at the border - photo by Kelly Smiley

Evelia Reyes and Bryan Houston were married Saturday, Nov. 18 during an event organized by Border Angels. Photo courtesy of Kelly Smiley.

By Antonio Aviles

The metal mesh that divides Mexico from the United States did not prevent a couple from joining in marriage, on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Friendship Park.

United States Border Patrol agents opened for the sixth time the border wall gate that divides the binational Friendship Park, located a few meters from the beach that Tijuana and San Diego share, during a Border Angels event, “Opening the Door of Hope.”

“We already planned to get married, but not like that, I think it’s a good message for all people that there is no wall that can stop love or anything, there are more important things than a wall,” Said Evelina Reyes, who was married at the border wall.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Smiley.

She is from Guerrero and, three years ago in Tijuana, met Bryan Houston, an American whom she married.

“I’m very excited to see her in person and get married after so long,” Houston said.

In the midst of a large crowd that gathered for this historic event, happiness was binational.

Family Meetings

Eleven other families affected by immigration policies in North America had three minutes to hug one another.

At 12 p.m. on Saturday, immigration agents from the U.S. made it possible for parents, children, and couples to meet, so that for three minutes they could enjoy the physical presence of their relatives.

This was the case of Mr. Basilio, who had the opportunity to see his granddaughters after being deported.

“I live here in Tijuana with my wife, but she has papers, I do not, they deported me two years ago,” he said.

Family separations are all too familiar especially for people like Mrs. Norma who said that two of her children are in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. She decided to return to Mexico on her own but hopes that her family will help her immigration status.

“There are several mixed feelings, I have not seen them for almost six years and they can not leave, because of DACA, hopefully one day they will be able to establish themselves legally,” Norma confessed with her voice breaking and tears in her eyes.

The opening of the wall was carried out by the Border Angels, an organization dedicated to helping Mexican and other Latin American migrants.

“While some want to put more walls, we open the door and we want to continue opening the door and this marriage was a surprise,” Enrique Morones founder and director of Border Angels said. “We are very grateful.”

Morones said that next year they will seek to open the door three more times so that other families can have brief encounters.

“We will do it again next year,” Morones said. “I hope Border Patrol will give us permission in March, April, and then again in November.”

Municipal Support

During the emotional meeting between members of 11 families who are separated due to their immigration status in the U.S., the President of the DIF Tijuana Board Maria Dolores Rivera de Gastelum, witnessed the event.

The first lady of Tijuana highlighted the work of Morones, who through Border Angels seeks the well-being of people when have been deported from the U.S. and their families who are in U.S. territory.

“In the DIF we will continue to be your allies because our commitment is to strengthen families,” said Rivera de Gastelum.

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