Border Patrol Closes ‘Door of Hope’ on Transnational Hugs, Weddings at U.S.-Mexico Border

Border Patrol will not re-open doors in the border fence at Friendship Park this year, ending a series of events that allowed chosen families to reunite briefly on the line between the U.S. and Mexico.

Brian Houston, who lives in San Diego, kisses his new bride Evelia Reyes, who lives in Mexico with her daughter Alexis, while Border Patrol agents look on at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Ysidro, Nov. 18, 2017. (Credit: Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images)

Brian Houston, who lives in San Diego, kisses his new bride Evelia Reyes, who lives in Mexico with her daughter Alexis, while Border Patrol agents look on at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Ysidro, Nov. 18, 2017. (Credit: Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images)

The agency has cooperated with six door-opening events organized by local nonprofit Border Angels since 2013. A surprise marriage ceremony between a U.S. citizen man and a Mexican woman at November’s opening placed the events under scrutiny after reports of the groom’s criminal record surfaced.

Enrique Morones, founder and executive director of Border Angels, said that neither the wedding nor the groom’s conviction were the reason behind the change.

Morones said Rodney Scott, who was appointed chief of the San Diego Border Patrol sector in December, turned down Morones’s request to hold similar events in the El Centro sector when he was chief there.