PICO RIVERA (CBSLA) — The tears flowed in Pico Rivera Friday when dozens of families were reunited after decades apart.
CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Randy Paige was there.
The sons and daughters, parents and grandchildren were also there — waiting for a moment many thought would never come.
Fifty families got to hug and reminisce and some got to meet family they’ve only heard about.
The older men and women were granted a temporary humanitarian visa — many traveled from deep inside Mexico to come to the United States to see their children. Many of the reunions were 20 years in the making.
“Now I’m going to get that moment,” says Nelson Martinez.
The last time he saw his grandmother he was less than a year old.
Paige asked what was going through his mind.
“Excitement,the sadness, excitement,” he says.
Then one by one, they took the last few steps and fell into each others arms.
Sobs echoed the years of separation.
“I really feel good, really happy,” says Nelson’s mother, Arecely Gonzalez . “It’s hard growing up here without my parents, a lot of years alone with my children. But they’re here now, thank God.”
Tears flowed across the generations.
“Oh my kids are here after so many years,” Nelson’s grandmother says. and she thanked everyone for making this day possible.
Moments later, Abela Yocupicio saw her granddaughter for the first time.
Nearby, the story was repeated over and over. Unfortunately, the reunions will be short-lived.
The temporary visa only allow the older folks to stay for a few weeks. In a few weeks, they will be driven back to the airport for the trip back to Mexico.
But, at a time when we are more used to seeing heartbreaking images of immigrant families being torn apart, we can watch — for a brief moment — here in East Los Angeles, families once separated by thousands of miles together again.