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VIDEO: Quinceañera Breaks Down In Tears As She Dances With Her Brother After Father Was Deported

There seems to be no end to the horrifying stories we’ve been hearing that illustrate the fallout of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy one which has been the hallmark of his presidency since he took office. Among the headlines that describe the effects of the immigration policy are those highlighting the sub-human conditions at the migrant-holding facilities at the border, or the those telling the terrifying stories of students being taken into ICE custody right before their high school graduation.

And the sad news doesn’t stop there.

Recently, a Latina’s Twitter post went viral when she shared the story of her niece being forced to dance el valz at her Quinceañera with her brother after her father was “taken” by immigration.

Twitter user @prisesaks took to Twitter on Monday to share a video of her young cousin dancing what is traditionally the father-daughter dance while holding her brother and crying. “So my uncle which is her dad was taken by immigration a week before her 15 and sadly he wasn’t able to be there,” @prisesaks said. “Her brother had to take his place in the father/daughter dance. It just broke my heart”.

The heart-tugging video shows the 15-year-old girl holding her brother while slow dancing with him. Her hand covers her mouth as she tries to hold back sobs. Her brother also looks visibly emotional.

The video and Tweet quickly went viral, racking up almost 3.5 million views, over 60,000 retweets, and almost 1,500 comments.

The traditional father/daughter dance at a Quinceañera is one of the most important parts of the birthday celebration and also a moment that many young Latinas look back on as a defining moment of transition from youth to adulthood. The fact that this Latina’s father could not be there to celebrate it with her is understandably upsetting for many people.

Twitter users responded to the video with a spectrum of emotions ranging from pity to outrage.

It’s understandable that such an emotionally-charged video can bring up a lot of feelings in people. Quinceañeras are supposed to be a day of celebration–a time in a Latina’s life when she gets to be “Queen for a Day” and she officially begins the transition from a child to a young woman. Unfortunately, this young woman’s entry into adulthood was much sadder than she had anticipated.

This Twitter user brought up a valid point about the difference between flashy headlines and the fact that people’s lives are actually being affected:

With all of the political tactics and clickbait articles that go around online, it’s easy to forget that there are humans beings involved in the immigration debate.

This Latina was heartbroken over the separation of a family:

After hearing stories of the appalling behavior of border control agents mocking migrant deaths and making fun of their pain, it’s easy to feel jaded towards immigration officials.

This Latina gave props to where props were due for the younger brother for stepping up for his sister:

The burden of family separation should not have to be placed on the shoulders of young ones.

Even the birthday girl’s older sister took to Twitter to express her appreciation that their story was being told:

Although their family’s situation is a tragedy, it’s a blessing that they have a platform to educate the world on the everyday realities of family separation.

This man educated the public on how important the father/daughter dance is to many young Latinas:

We can’t imagine how the young girl was feeling at the moment.

The video is just more evidence of how Trump’s policy of family separation has a real, lasting impact on Latino families. While statistics and news article tell a part of the story, the numbers and abstract policy discussion don’t illustrate the full picture like these small, intimate glimpses into the lives of Latinx families whose lives are forever changed by the Trump administration. Moments like these are formative in young adults’ lives, and this girl will forever have to look back on what was supposed to be a special day with bittersweet feelings.

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