When Pope Francis visited our border community just six months ago, he challenged us to build a culture of encounter capable of tearing down walls of indifference.

Yesterday, a historic and unprecedented event brought together hundreds of family members from Mexico and the United States in a loving, tender embrace. In the middle of the Rio Grande, politics and borders vanished as loved ones long separated by walls, broken immigration policy, deportation and checkpoints came together for a hug that many have not shared in decades. 


Hope Border Institute, together with our friends from the Border Network for Human Rights worked with countless volunteers, the Mexican Red Cross, Border Patrol, the Office of Congressman Beto O’Rourke and the governments of the United States and Mexico to reunite families too long divided. If just for an instant, the embrace of these families showed us the power of a culture of encounter to unite communities across borders and overcome division, xenophobia and broken policy.

The symbolism of this event cannot be underestimated. At time when the so-called border wars and a politics of division occupy a central place in the rhetoric of a presidential campaign, the migrant community put families front and center. The needs, aspirations, dreams and vision of families united and reunited need to be at the center our country’s immigration policy. Yesterday showed us what that looks like. Yesterday gives us hope to continue the struggle for humane, comprehensive, permanent immigration reform.

We hope these pictures do justice to the emotions that were felt during the event.  For more videos and pictures, visit our Facebook page at: 
Follow us on social media to see what we are doing to make a better border!
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Hope Border Institute · 499 St. Matthews St · El Paso, Tx 79907 · USA

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