Currents News Staff
Last week, Texas student Sarai Ruiz celebrated her accomplishment of graduating from Hector Garcia Early College High School, but someone was missing from the crowd.
“My whole life I had thought that my whole family was going to be there,” she said, “unfortunately my dad couldn’t be there because he can’t cross.”
He was unable to cross the border into the U.S. from Mexico to attend the ceremony. Even though he couldn’t be there in person, now Ruiz’s dedication to her father has gone viral.
“When I was about four years old, my dad was deported. It was just me and my mom in my hometown of Sheboygan, Wisconsin,” she recalled.
Wanting to be closer to her father, Ruiz and her mother moved to Laredo, Texas, and later found a difficult but effective way to be together once again.
“It’s hard to wake up early, like at five a.m. just so you can cross and go to school, and then cross back in the afternoon,” said Ruiz. Her diploma is now the result of her hard work and dedication.
“Right after I graduated, I decided to see my dad at the bridge.”
The embrace was captured by her cousin because Ruiz wanted to share it with loved ones.
“I wanted my whole other family to see it, and some of my friends to also see it as well.”
Ruiz had no idea the video would go viral like it did. Their video on Facebook has now been shared 24 thousand times, and reached more than 2.3 million views.
Some have even reached out to her with similar experiences.
“People started sending me messages that they were proud that I didn’t forget where I came from, and that they were going through the same situation.”
Hector Garcia Early College High School Principal Jose Eduardo Iznaola believes Ruiz’s success is due to her perseverance.
“It’s a story of resilience, of grit, of thinking that nothing is impossible,” he said.
Besides a big hug on the bridge, her father shared something more with her that night, the love of a father and daughter, that knows no borders.
“He said that nobody could ever separate us, that only God could separate us,” said Ruiz of the special moment with father, “that will forever be engraved in my mind.”