The tears begin flowing the moment the U.S. Border Patrol agents swing open the doors of the border enforcement zone, allowing Mexican families to step through and reunite with loved ones at the border fence near San Diego.
The weekly encounters at Friendship Park, across the border from Tijuana, showcase the soft-hearted side of the force protecting America’s Southwest border. But during one recent visit some youngsters didn’t seem to be buying it.
In March, the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents agents, had endorsed Donald Trump for president. One teenage boy, a high school student from Oakland, asked a pair of agents why.
“He asked how can Border Patrol agents be supporting hateful rhetoric that seems to contradict the spirit of the … event,” said Pedro Rios, director of the American Friends Service Committee, who led the field trip of youngsters to the border and witnessed the exchange.