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Mexican families reunited quickly with immigrant relatives


Tears shed amid heartfelt hugs as Mexican families were allowed to briefly reunite at the border with loved ones who immigrated to the United States

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Tears were shed amid heartfelt hugs as Mexican families were allowed to briefly reunite at the border on Saturday with loved ones who had immigrated to the United States.

When a mariachi band played the popular song “Las Mañanitas,” about 150 families traveled through the Rio Grande to meet loved ones they hadn’t seen in years.

Margarita Piña couldn’t hide her emotions as she waited for a son she hadn’t seen since he ran away from home two years ago amid the pandemic in search of a better future in America.

“It’s difficult because we don’t know what they’re suffering from there,” Piña said.

Knowing that their meeting would be limited to five minutes, Piña said she would take advantage of the limited time to tell him “we still love you so much”.

This is the 10th edition of the event “Hugs, not walls”, organized by humanitarian groups near the Casa de Adobe Museum in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, stretching across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Unlike previous reunions, a strong protection force of US officers was present at the event, which came just days before Washington lifted its imposing Title 42 asylum rules. set for the pandemic that allowed the United States to deport more than 2.8 million migrants as of March 2020.

The termination of the provision on Thursday is expected to encourage waves of migrants to flock to the border, and US authorities have stepped up security, including putting up barbed wire fences. The government said 1,500 troops would be sent to El Paso, in addition to the 2,500 National Guards already at the border.

Fernando García, head of the Migrant Rights Defense Network, said: “We have never had a border as militarized as it is today.

“There is a war against migrants, refugees, against us who cross the border,” he added.

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