US & World

Swimming across the US-Mexico border to support immigrants

Mexican swimmer Nora Toledo, participating in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, celebrates upon arrival to the beach in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on May 5, 2017, after swimming across the US-Mexico marine border from Imperial Beach in San Diego, California.
Twelve swimmers from five countries participated in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, a cross-border U.S.-Mexico swim that aims to raise awareness and raise funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, which supports migrants' human rights. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS        (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexican swimmer Nora Toledo, participating in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, celebrates upon arrival to the beach in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on May 5, 2017, after swimming across the US-Mexico marine border from Imperial Beach in San Diego, California. Twelve swimmers from five countries participated in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, a cross-border U.S.-Mexico swim that aims to raise awareness and raise funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, which supports migrants' human rights. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images
Mexican swimmer Nora Toledo, participating in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, celebrates upon arrival to the beach in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on May 5, 2017, after swimming across the US-Mexico marine border from Imperial Beach in San Diego, California.
Twelve swimmers from five countries participated in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, a cross-border U.S.-Mexico swim that aims to raise awareness and raise funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, which supports migrants' human rights. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS        (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Swimmers prepare to take off from the Imperial beach Pier for a 10 kilometer swim down across the United States-Mexico border to raise awareness for immigration issues on Friday, May 5, 2017 in Imperial Beach, California. The swimmers, who are from Five countries, are raising money to help aid immigrant The swimmers, who are from five countries, are raising money to help aid immigrant families and bring awareness to deportee issues. / AFP PHOTO / Sandy Huffaker (Photo credit should read SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images
Mexican swimmer Nora Toledo, participating in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, celebrates upon arrival to the beach in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on May 5, 2017, after swimming across the US-Mexico marine border from Imperial Beach in San Diego, California.
Twelve swimmers from five countries participated in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, a cross-border U.S.-Mexico swim that aims to raise awareness and raise funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, which supports migrants' human rights. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS        (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Swimmers participating in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing pose for pictures upon arrival to the beach in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on May 5, 2017, after swimming across the US-Mexico marine border from Imperial Beach in San Diego, California. Twelve swimmers from five countries participated in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, a cross-border U.S.-Mexico swim that aims to raise awareness and raise funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, which supports migrants' human rights. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images
Mexican swimmer Nora Toledo, participating in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, celebrates upon arrival to the beach in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on May 5, 2017, after swimming across the US-Mexico marine border from Imperial Beach in San Diego, California.
Twelve swimmers from five countries participated in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, a cross-border U.S.-Mexico swim that aims to raise awareness and raise funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, which supports migrants' human rights. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS        (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Swimmers prepare to take off from the Imperial beach Pier for a 10 kilometer swim down across the United States-Mexico border to raise awareness for immigration issues on Friday, May 5, 2017 in Imperial Beach, California. The swimmers, who are from five countries, are raising money to help aid immigrant families and bring awareness to deportee issues. / AFP PHOTO / Sandy Huffaker (Photo credit should read SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images
Mexican swimmer Nora Toledo, participating in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, celebrates upon arrival to the beach in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on May 5, 2017, after swimming across the US-Mexico marine border from Imperial Beach in San Diego, California.
Twelve swimmers from five countries participated in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, a cross-border U.S.-Mexico swim that aims to raise awareness and raise funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, which supports migrants' human rights. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS        (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Swimmers participating in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing arrive at the beach in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on May 5, 2017, after swimming across the US-Mexico marine border from Imperial Beach in San Diego, California. Twelve swimmers from five countries participated in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, a cross-border U.S.-Mexico swim that aims to raise awareness and raise funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, which supports migrants' human rights. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images
Mexican swimmer Nora Toledo, participating in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, celebrates upon arrival to the beach in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on May 5, 2017, after swimming across the US-Mexico marine border from Imperial Beach in San Diego, California.
Twelve swimmers from five countries participated in the Pan-American Colibri Crossing, a cross-border U.S.-Mexico swim that aims to raise awareness and raise funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, which supports migrants' human rights. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS        (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Swimmers engae in a motivational cheer before taking off from the Imperial beach Pier for a 10 kilometer swim down across the United States-Mexico border to raise awareness for immigration issues on Friday, May 5, 2017 in Imperial Beach, California. The swimmers, who are from five countries, are raising money to help aid immigrant families and bring awareness to deportee issues. / AFP PHOTO / Sandy Huffaker (Photo credit should read SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images


Twelve athletes swam 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 from 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.