San Diego Border Gate Opens & Mexican Immigrant Hugs Daughter For First Time

The San Diego border opened this weekend, briefly, to Mexico, and the scene was an emotional one for many. After officials opened the gate in Friendship Park, a small park along the border, family members got to see and touch their loved ones they hadn't touched in many years. One of these loved ones was Luis Angulo, who lives in the U.S. on a temporary visa. He was able to hug his 5-year-old daughter, Jimena, for the first time ever. 

"It's a miracle," Angula told reporters afterward, according to the Huffington Post. "For all these people to come to see their families ... it's really a miracle for me."

The moment came after the park, which features a steel-mesh fence that ones can talk thorugh on the border, was slated for closing due to budget cuts. San Diego Sector Border Patrol Chief Paul Beeson announced in April that it would stay open, but with limited hours.

The gate, however, would have remained shut if not for the efforts of Jim Brown, a longtime Friendship Park volunteer. He came out with a bottle of WD-40 and tried to loosen the hinges. "It was kind of comical -- a little tiny can from a convenience store, spraying it on the hinges. No, it would not budge. So Border Patrol came out with some torches and what not, and popped it open.”

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and his fiancée Bronwyn Ingram were also in attendance Sunday, and U-T San Diego reported that Ingram seemed particularly moved by the reunion of Angulo and his daughter.

“We’re one area, and it’s great to celebrate that and not think of the border as the end of the line or a cul-de-sac,” Ingram said. “We should be building bridges and opening gates instead of building these big walls that separate us.”