Headlines Today Breaking News: Texas High School Graduate Sarai Ruiz Hugs Deported Father On Border Bridge
Current News Headlines: High School Graduate Hugs Deported Father On Border Bridge
A high school graduate identified as Sarai Ruiz, 18, surprised her deported father by crossing the border bridge in her gown and giving him a hug. She marked the end of her time at Hector J. Garcia Early College High School in Laredo, Texas recently. However, as she stood alongside her classmates, her father wasn’t present only her mother was there to celebrate her achievement.
Sarai was born in Wisconsin, US and lived there with her parents. However, her father was deported from the country when she was just four years old. Despite this, she continued to live in Wisconsin until she was seven when she and her mother moved to Laredo, Texas, and then later to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. This was an done so the whole family could be together.
Distance was not a barrier to her schooling as Sarai continued to attend school in the US. She crossed the border bridge every day in order to receive her education.
Esteban had to wait on the Puente de Las Americas, aka the Gateway to the Americas Bridge, to congratulate Sarai because he’s not allowed back into the US. Sarai spoke to NBC News about the situation, saying:
“As I looked over at my mom that day as my principal was speaking, I couldn’t help but to see other parents there for their kids, and it wasn’t just a mom.
It was mom and dad, or mom and dad and grandma and grandpa. And it really did hit home for me. I knew that my dad couldn’t be there.
I gave him a hug and I just started to cry a lot. It’s like I fulfilled the dreams of both my mom and dad to find better opportunities that they didn’t have.”
She shared the now-viral video on Facebook, with the caption:
“I knew my father would never see me walk to get my diploma but today I’d thought I’d surprise him by crossing the bridge so he could see me with my cap and gown.
The 18-year-old recalled how her father once told her nobody would separate their family, and years later Sarai pointed out how he was right.”
“Since I was four…All this time has passed and it’s true, nothing could ever separate us. A border’s not going to separate us, not a bridge, not being able to cross…[It’s] not going to change that fact that we’re still family.
Now her time at high school is over, Sarai plans to continue her studies at the University of Texas in Austin. I’m sure her proud father will be cheering her on every step of the way!”
Her high school principal, Jose E. Iznaola, applauded her determination in a statement to NBC News.
“[Sarai] represents the true grit and spirit of the American dream; people fighting for an opportunity to improve their lives, their family, and their community,” he said. “When, as educators, we see stories like this, we need to remember the all of our students deserve that we work hard for them.”
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