A  reminder
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A father’s battle for his daughters

On the Tijuana side of the border fence, Luis Ernesto Rodriguez, 43, holds up a tattered snapshot of one of his young daughters. He was here when one of his attorneys delivered news about his long fight to be reunited with them. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
In a Mexicali park next to the border fence, Rodriguez talks on a cellphone to his daughters. “I miss you big time,” he said. “Pretty soon I hope and I pray to God that we will be together.” He didn’t know at the time that his parental rights to his girls had already been terminated. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Rodriguez looks north through the 18-foot-high steel posts of the border fence where it ends in Tijuana. Of his two daughters in Los Angeles, he said: “I just want to go over there and be with my girls. It’s important that they know that I’m fighting, doing everything possible to see them again, to hug them again.” (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Clutching a packet of court papers about his daughters, Rodriguez walks across the border from Tijuana to San Ysidro, Calif. He’s about to ask U.S. authorities for asylum in a desperate attempt to reunite with his girls in Los Angeles. The request was eventually denied, and he was deported to his native El Salvador. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Rodriguez stops to watch northbound traffic at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in Tijuana. The former South Los Angeles resident, originally from El Salvador, continued walking to the port of entry, where he asked U. S. authorities for asylum. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Rodriguez rushes across a street in Mexicali, Mexico, with buckets of water to wash cars. He charges $2 a vehicle. He says local police have taken his money and jailed him for working without a permit.  (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Rodriguez scrubs a car in Mexicali, Mexico. He looked forward to Sunday afternoons; that’s when he got to speak with his daughters. He knew their foster family’s telephone number by heart. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Rodriguez sits on a carwash bucket at a migrant shelter in Mexicali. The former South L.A. resident was unable to return to his daughters after being deported. His parental rights were terminated, and the girls now live with their adoptive parents.  (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)