April 19, 2024

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Undocumented girl sees mother for first time in 17 years

Undocumented girl sees mother for first time in 17 years

El Paso | Seventeen long years had passed since their last reunion. Last Saturday, a Mexican without status in the United States had the right to briefly hug his mother in the middle of the river that separates the two countries.

On the north bank of the Rio Grande, Alicia Castanone was struggling to contain her anxiety. From her camp chair, she could see her mother, Modesta Rios, on the south bank, twenty yards away.

“I have to be strong for her because she’s always been so brave for us,” reasoned the 41-year-old, her makeup eyes already red with emotion.

Between two marshy banks the river barely flowed, marking the border between Mexico and the United States. Alicia could not cross the river for 17 years to see her beloved mother because she did not have the documents to return to the United States where she lives.

If the domestic worker has an exceptional right to find her between the two countries this Saturday, it’s thanks to the Border Network for Human Rights, which ranks 10th.e “Hugs are not walls” version.

Inhuman policies

“It’s an event full of love and humanity, but it’s also a fight against these inhuman policies,” explained its director, Fernando Garcia.

Under the watchful eye of border guards, volunteers were allowed to erect a temporary wooden platform connecting the two countries where 150 families were reunited.

Participants on the US side were in yellow, and those on the Mexican side were in blue, so as not to confuse anyone’s immigration status.

Alicia measured the time as she waited her turn from a distance.

“Mum’s getting older… she’s in a wheelchair and her leg has been amputated since I last saw her,” she said. Register In Spanish.

A 60-year-old man in a wheelchair had traveled 10 hours by bus from Dorian, Mexico.

6 minutes is too short

When it was finally their turn, the volunteers helped him onto the inclined platform.

The two women hugged and locked eyes. For the past 17 years, they have tried to hug each other in exchange for everything they could not give each other.

Around them, people were taking pictures, learning about grandchildren or nieces and nephews they had never met.

Moving between families living in the United States without morning papers (yellow shirts) and families in Mexico (blue shirts) led to reunions.

Nora D. Lamontagne / JDM

Moving between families living in the US without morning papers (yellow shirts) and families in Mexico (blue shirts) led to reunions.

Then, four minutes later, an organizer interrupted the moment. “Just two more minutes…time to say goodbye,” she said into the microphone.

Grieving separated families caught in the reality of a border that prevents them from being together.

Alicia wiped away the tears as she turned to the American.

“I cried a lot! But it’s like I recharged my batteries”, confirmed with a sad smile the Mexican-origin who doesn’t know when the next time he will see his mother.

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