After years of separation, hundreds of Mexican families got a chance to hug their loved ones in a “Hugs Not Walls” event organized by Border Network of Human Rights. Thousands of people cried the tears of sorrow and joy upon seeing their relatives at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The U.S. Border Patrol allowed a temporary visa-free crossing, but only for three minutes. Since many from the U.S. side were undocumented immigrants who cannot return to their homeland, this emotional meeting meant they had minutes to make up for decades of separation.
“It's very emotional. It's been 14 years since I last saw my father,” said Luz Del Rio, who has lived in America for over a decade. “It's a blessing, a blessing to be here. Thank you to everyone who made this possible for families — parents and children — to reunite after not seeing each other for years, thank you.”
The U.S. residents wore blue while Mexican citizens were in white.
For the first time in more than four decades, more Mexicans are leaving the U.S. than arriving in the country. From 2009 to 2014, an estimated 870,000 Mexicans came to the United States while 1 million returned home, according to the study from the Pew Research Center.
Apparently, the primary reason for this historic migration reversal is family reunification. Other reasons include lack of jobs in the U.S. (courtesy of the Great Recession), an improving economy in Mexico and tighter border security.
However, there are approximately 11 million immigrants still living in the country.