11 heartrending photos of families embracing across the U.S.-Mexico border.

On Nov. 20, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and grandparents living on opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico border were allowed to hug each other for the first time in years, or — in some cases — decades.

The event was sponsored by Border Angels, a San Diego-based nonprofit that supports immigration reform and provides services to immigrant families living on the U.S. side of the border.

Six families were permitted to visit with each other for a few minutes each, according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Border guards were present to ensure participants didn't stray too far to one side or the other.


The reunions were highly emotional, particularly given the uncertain future of the event — which has happened annually since 2013 — in the wake of the anti-immigrant rhetoric in the U.S. election.

1. Luis Hernandez and his father, Eduardo, embrace as a border guard looks on.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

2. Matha Morales and Aileen Gonzalez — grandmother and granddaughter — share a brief hug through the open door.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

3. Aileen's father, Adrian Gonzalez Morales, leads her away after her short visit with her grandmother.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

4. Border guards monitor one of six emotional family reunions.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

5. Laura Avila peers through the fence while having a conversation with her relatives in Mexico.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

6. Avila and daughter Laura Vera Martinez wipe away tears as they leave a meeting with their relatives to return to the U.S. side.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

7. A man surveys the scene from the Mexican side of the border.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

8. 1-year-old Romina Camacho points through the fence from her father's arms.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

9. Children play and wait as some glance through to the other side of the fence.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

10. A man gazes through the fence to the U.S. side as a crowd gathers.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

11. As families tearfully reunite at the open door, a small physical connection is made elsewhere.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

For the thousands of undocumented Americans with family across the southern border — for whom going back to Mexico would mean being unable to return home to the U.S. — three minutes is hardly enough to express years' worth of longing, pain, and love. Still, many remain hopeful that they'll get the chance to connect again in person in the coming years, despite the anti-immigration hard line adopted by the incoming administration.

Luisa Hernandez of Los Angeles, who came to embrace her mother for the first time in 12 years, told the Union-Tribune that she was able to deliver a simple message to her mom during their brief meeting:

"I told her I loved her. That’s it."

More

Brace yourselves, folks, because this is almost too friggin' adorable to handle.

A 911 call can be a scary thing, and an emergency call from a dad having chest pains and trouble breathing is no exception. But thankfully, an exchange between that dad's 5-year-old daughter and 911 dispatcher Jason Bonham turned out to be more humor than horror. If you missed hearing the recording that has repeatedly gone viral since 2010, you have to hear it now. It's perfectly timeless.

Keep Reading Show less
Family

Image by Brent Connelly from Pixabay and sixthformpoet / Twitter

Twitter user Matt, who goes by the name @SixthFormPoet, shared a dark love story on Twitter that's been read by nearly 600,000 people. It starts in a graveyard and feels like it could be the premise for a Tim Burton film.

While it's hard to verify whether the story is true, Matt insists that it's real, so we'll believe him.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Can the teens do literally anything without being blasted? Apparently not...

Katie Cornetti and Marissa Bordas, two Pittsburgh teens, were involved in a car crash. After taking a sharp turn on a winding road, the car flipped twice, then landed on its side. The girls said later on that they weren't on their phones at the time. The cause of the crash was because the tires on Bordas' car were mounted improperly.

The girls were wearing their seatbelts and were fine, aside from a few bruises. However, they were trapped in the car for about 20 minutes, so to pass the time while they waited for help, they decided to make a TikTok video. They made sure they were totally fine before they started recording.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Approximately 10% of the population is left-handed, and the balance between lefties and righties has been the same for almost 5,000 years. People used to believe that left-handed people were evil or unlucky. The word "sinister" is even derived from the Latin word for "left."

In modern times, the bias against lefties for being different is more benign – spiral notebooks are a torture device, and ink gets on their hands like a scarlet letter. Now, a new study conducted at the University of Oxford and published in Brain is giving left-handers some good news. While left-handers have been struggling with tools meant for right-handers all these years, it turns out, they actually possess superior verbal skills.

Researchers looked at the DNA of 400,000 people in the U.K. from a volunteer bank. Of those 400,000 people, 38,332 were southpaws. Scientists were able to find the differences in genes between lefties and righties, and that these genetic variants resulted in a difference in brain structure, too. "It tells us for the first time that handedness has a genetic component," Gwenaëlle Douaud, joint senior author of the study and a fellow at Oxford's Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, told the BBC.

Keep Reading Show less
popular