California

The Latest: Swimmers cross US-Mexico border for immigrants

The Latest on 12 athletes who swam across the border from the U.S. to Mexico in a show of support for immigrants (all times local):

1 p.m.

Twelve athletes have completed their swim across the border from the United States to Mexico in a show of solidarity with immigrants.

The swimmers from the United States, Mexico, Israel, New Zealand and South Africa were escorted by a Mexican Navy ship as they reached a beach in Tijuana, a short distance from a border fence that juts into the Pacific Ocean. More than 100 schoolchildren cheered, and Mexico's top immigration official in the region applauded them at a public celebration of the 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) swim from Imperial Beach, California.

Organizer Kim Chambers of New Zealand was overwhelmed by the jubilant reception. She said water connects all of us, no matter which direction you're going.

The swim raised money for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, which helps families identify immigrants who die on the perilous trek across the border.

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11 a.m.

Twelve athletes are swimming across the border from the United States to Mexico in an effort to call attention to immigrants in a charged political environment.

The swimmers embarked Friday in the city of Imperial Beach, California, and headed south toward a fence that juts into the Pacific Ocean. Kayakers paddled alongside for safety. Mexican immigration officials and schoolchildren prepared to greet them on a beach in the border city of Tijuana.

Supporters held on to the swimmers' passports during the 10-kilometer (6.2 mile) swim.

Organizer Kim Chambers of New Zealand insists the swim isn't a protest against President Donald Trump's border wall or government policy but says an air of "negativity" after last year's U.S. elections was the catalyst.