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‘Hugs Not Walls’ Event canceled

The annual ‘Hugs Not Walls’ event, hosted by the Border Network For Human Rights, has been canceled.

The event allows families who live on both sides of the border to briefly reconnect, without needing permission to cross over.

“This event, which would have seen 150 separated immigrant families come together at Sunland Park-Anapra, is the latest casualty to the Trump Administration’s sustained assault against communities and migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border,” executive director Fernando Garcia said in a statment. “Families that have been planning for week’s to celebrate Mother’s Day by being able to see their long-estranged loved ones are left in the lurch.”

Garcia told ABC-7 on the phone that Border Patrol cited security concerns and wouldn’t allow the group to host the event.

Border Patrol spokesman Agent Carlos Antunes told The El Paso Times: “The U.S. Border Patrol is not responsible for the cancellation of this event. The U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector has a longstanding relationship with many area nongovernment agencies, and we strive to reach common ground on issues of mutual interest whenever possible.”

Garcia also said the Union Pacific Railroad company did not give organizers permission to use their land for the event.

The network’s plans on holding a protest march is planned for 8 a.m. on May 25 at Chihuahuita Park in South El Paso.

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