Before she crossed the stage to receive her high school diploma, Leslie Silva had to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. She wanted her father, Mario Silva, to be one of the first to see her in her cap and gown. See, Silva lives in El Paso, and her father lives in Juárez, right across the border. Their family lived together in El Paso until authorities deported Mario, who was undocumented, in 2007, the El Paso Times reported. Leslie, his youngest daughter, was 7 at the time. Mario never got to see any of his daughters graduate high school, according to tweets from Leslie and her sister Ingrid. That made the moment he saw Leslie, in her purple gown and orange sash at the Ysleta-Zaragoza international bridge all the more meaningful.
“He was so happy. He started crying, and I’ve never seen him cry,” Leslie told the Times. “He said he felt really honored and he thought it was really nice of me to go see him before my graduation ceremony.” And Ingrid caught all the emotion on video. Leslie tweeted the video on Monday after graduating Sunday morning.