Families Separated by Border Reunified in Los Angeles After Years, Decades Apart

Forty families separated by immigration policy got a chance to embrace, in some cases for the first time in decades, during a family reunification event on Monday at Los Angeles City Hall.

The 3rd Annual Immigrant Family Reunification Event was hosted by Councilman Gil Cedillo, the Mexican State of Nayarit and the nonprofit organization Pueblos Unidos, organizers said.

Yolanda Padilla, who had not seen her mother in 17 years and her father in 22 years, said she felt overwhelmed.

Her daughter, Candy Jimenez, who is in the 3rd grade, saw her grandparent for the first time.

“I’m sad… I never met them," the girl said.

The event is designed to bring residents of Nayarit, Oaxaca and Mexico City to visit family members in the U.S. who they've not seen for years, or even decades, due to their immigration status, Cedillo's office said in a written statement.

"This reunification was made possible after several years of lobbying the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department to grant temporary humanitarian visas for the families," according to the statement.

The temporary visas are valid for several weeks.

Elizabeth Espinosa reports for the KTLA 5 News at 1 on Dec. 10, 2018.

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