BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Nearly every Sunday for the past several months, families separated by the U.S.-Canadian border closure have gathered on both sides to protest the shut down.
"I've been here every Sunday no matter rain or shine. It's been very very hard to get through this emotionally," Merton LaBounty, said.
LaBounty's girlfriend Tammy lives in Canada. He dropped everything and moved to Buffalo to be closer to her.
Sue Sorrento's son married his partner, a Canadian, early on in the pandemic so they wouldn't be separated by the border. Now that he's moved to Canada, he hasn't been able to see his mom or sister for about a year.
"It breaks my heart because when he's having a really bad day he'll FaceTime me and and he cries. It gets me upset. It's hard," Sorrento said.
Sorrento and her daughter Taylor said he spends most of his days alone.
"He's waiting on his work visa. He's literally by himself day after day because his husband does work. It's really hard on him mental health wise," Sorrento said.
Some separated couples have reached their breaking point.
"We ended it last week. Because when is this going to end? I can't handle this anymore. It's affecting all these families for no reason. All this unnecessary suffering," LaBounty said.
These families said all they can do is hope for the day they can wrap their arms around their loved ones again.
"I used to beg him all the time, come on hug your mom. There's going to come a day when you're going to want to hug your mom and we're not doing to be able to do it. So now he tells me all the time, I'm going to get all the hugs back that I've missed," Sorrento said.