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Immigration

Watch this mother and daughter reunite in Mexico after 25 years apart

Miriam Martinez, an immigrant who spent years undocumented and unable to travel outside of the United States, surprised her mother in Mexico. She posted the video of their emotional reunion on Facebook.
Univision News Logo
1 Jun 2017 – 9:01 AM EDT

It's the cry of a mother who had waited more than two decades to hug her daughter. Within seconds after her daughter appeared in the living room, Miriam Aguirre's 49-year-old body collapsed with so much emotion.

She wore jeans, and the television was on. It was nighttime when her daughter Miriam "Mimi" Martínez appeared after 25 years.

The two women ran to eachother. Aguirre hugged her daughter, touching her to make sure it was real, and she repeated, in Spanish: "Oh my girl, oh my beautiful little girl, my little baby."

Aguirre's other daughter, Martínez's sister, followed the emotional scene from the United States through a video call. "I thought I had to call an ambulance," she said later on the other side of the phone.

Martínez published the video on Facebook and titled it: "25 years later! ✨🙏🏽✨."

"The last time my mom saw me I was five years old," Martínez, 30, told Univision.

In the 80s, Martínez's mother and father separated, and the girls went to the United States with their dad. "My mom stayed in Mexico," Martínez said. "I don't know the exact details but I can only assume my father thought we would have a better opportunity in the States than in Mexico."

Aguirre remained in Veracruz. Eventually she moved to Tijuna, with hopes that either she or her daughters would cross the border one day.

Martínez and her sister lived undocumented for nearly two decades in the United States, until former president Barack Obama's executive action ordered the protection of tens of thousands of young people that arrived to the country illegally when they were children. The sisters fell into that category.

With DACA, Martínez felt relief and protection from deportation. She married a U.S. citizen. But it wasn't until this year that she was granted Advance Parole, or temporary travel permission for immigrants who are not permanent residents, such as DACA recipients.

She went to El Salvador on an educational trip and her authoritized re-entry to the United States opened up a new possibility.

"Legal Entry meant that my U.S. born husband would be able to petition me and I would be able to become a resident and travel to see my mother," she told Univision.

And that's how it happened. "We started the process in February ... we had our immigration interview May 16, I received my green card in the mail exactly a week later, on a Tuesday, by Friday of the same week my husband and I hopped on a bus and headed to Mexico," she said.

On Friday, May 26, mother and daughter met again.

"I didn't throw up," Martínez said minuted after the surprise, when she and her mother had calmed down.

"That's why Olga told me earlier to take my pills," Aguirre said, still shaking.

...

Federica Narancio and Luis Velarde contributed reporting. This video was initially published by Undocumedia.

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