U.S.-Mexico Border Gate Opens Briefly for Families to Reunite
Last month, U.S. Border Patrol agents opened up a heavy steel gate, known as the Door of Hope, on the fence between the U.S. and Mexico border at Border Field State Park. On the Mexican side of the border, a tightly packed crowd of Mexican citizens and media with cameras was peering north at the crowd of U.S. citizens on the other side of the gate. For almost an hour, family members from the U.S. side were able to walk partly through the gate to embrace family members and relatives in Mexico. This was the sixth time that the Door of Hope had opened since 2013. Enrique Morones, the executive director of the Border Angels group that organizes the event, stated,
While some people want to build walls, we want to open doors.
The gate is inside Friendship Park, a small strip of land where families from both sides can meet and exchange greetings through the heavy screen of the fence, but they can’t touch each other apart from when the gate is opened by Border Patrol agents. This recent time that the gate was opened a wedding ceremony took place, which was a first. Brian Houston of San Diego, who was dressed in a light gray suit, embraced Evelia Reyes, who was in full bridal regalia. They signed a few documents from the Tijuana municipal authorities, posed for pictures, and became husband and wife. The State Department makes the final decision on who will be allowed to reunite, after conducting a thorough check. It’s a great event that allows families to reunite in person that might not otherwise be able to for various reasons and, hopefully, there will be more opportunities for families to do this in the future.