Evelia Reyes and Brian Houston got married on Saturday in a rare cross-border ceremony during which the steel gates between U.S. and Mexico opened for about an hour, which happens about once a year.
Reyes, a Mexican citizen, and Houston, a man from the U.S., dressed up — he wore a suit; she wore a lace, white dress with a train and veil — signed official documents, and kissed each other at Border Field State Park in San Diego, at an opening of the so-called Door of Hope. The gate is just 15 miles from where the eight prototypes for Trump's wall have been built, according to the Associated Press.
"It's a statement that love has no borders," Houston told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "Even though we are divided by a giant fence here, we can still love each other on both sides of the fence."
Houston is a U.S. resident who is not allowed to legally enter Tijuana, and Reyes cannot legally enter the U.S. An attorney is trying to help them by obtaining a green card for her so she can join her new husband, but the process could take over a year. They talk on the phone every single day.
The couple worked with Enrique Morones, executive director of Border Angels, the group that organizes the gate openings, to plan their ceremony. Border Angels collects requests from families and forwards their names to the State Department, which conducts a check and then makes the final decision.
This is the sixth time the gate has opened since 2013, according to the AP. When the gate is closed, families can talk across it but are not permitted to touch each other.