POSTED: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 3:17pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 8:32am
El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — The border may divide them, but love can't keep them apart. An unusual wedding was held today atop the Paso del Norte International Bridge. Edgar Falcon, an El Paso resident, married Maricruz Valtierra Zuniga, a resident of Mexico.
Valtierra can't live with her new husband in the U.S. or even enter the country because authorities say she falsely claimed to be a U.S. resident when she was a teenager. A 1996 immigration bill signed by then-President Bill Clinton made falsely claiming U.S. citizenship an offense so serious that it barred offenders from ever reentering the country. Falcon said in 2005, when oral declarations of citizenship were still common, Zuniga's older sister incorrectly claimed that the siblings were U.S. citizens. Falcon said he and his fiancee did not realize how dire the situation was until they decided to get married and visited the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez.
The couple says they held their wedding on the bridge to send a message that immigration laws need to be changed.
"We want to present another face to America," Falcon told the Texas Tribune. "Immigration does not only affect illegal immigrants but it also affects us as U.S. citizens and is affecting a lot of families."
Congressman Beto O'Rourke attended Tuesday's ceremony, and promised to legislation to address families separated by border regulations.