EL PASO, Texas - Hundreds of families, who hadn’t seen each other in years, met on the US/Mexico border Saturday morning, just days after President Trump signed his executive order asking for the border wall to be built.
From the US in blue and from Mexico in white, thousands of people had just three minutes to hug, kiss, and see each other on the US-Mexico border after years of separation. Tears streamed down everyone's faces as they reconnected on the Rio Grande riverbed, one daughter noticing her father's grey hairs for the first time.
The third Hugs Not Walls reunion, put together by the Border Network for Human Rights, was the first held under President Trump.
“They’ve denied my visa twice already,” said one Mexican mother who hadn’t seen her children in 14 years.
Those on the American side couldn't go back after crossing undocumented, some saying they were looking for a better life, others to save it.
“The crime is what made me flee Mexico,” explained one man, who says his family is now safe.
While it was a very special occasion for everyone, for a few it was even more memorable.
“I haven’t had a birthday with my family in seven years,” said a young man as tears streamed down his and his father’s faces.
“It really is a blessing from God,” he said.
As families hugged each other for the first time in years some were worried the new administration wouldn’t let them see each other again, but organizers say they're pushing forward for another reunion with no reservations.
“I’m afraid this will be the last time I’ll see my family,” said one woman after a teary goodbye.
"We will have a fourth one. We don't know when, but I think we will aim to have another event because there are so many families that were left behind, there were too many that we couldn't register,” said Fernando Garcia, the executive director for the Border Network for Human Rights.
The first family to see each other had been apart for 27 years.