Israeli swims across US-Mexico border to support migrants

UN data reported that a record 65.3 million people were uprooted worldwide in 2015, figures not previously seen since World War II.

By REUTERS
May 6, 2017 10:56
1 minute read.

International swimmers cross US-Mexico border via Pacific Ocean to support migrants. Credit: Reuters, Pan American Colibri Swim

International swimmers cross US-Mexico border via Pacific Ocean to support migrants. Credit: Reuters, Pan American Colibri Swim

 
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An international convoy of swimmers crossed the invisible border line dividing Mexico and the United States in the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness for the plight of immigrants around the world amidst concerns of rising anti-migrant rhetoric.

The cross-border swimming effort aims to raise funds for the Colibri Centre for Human Rights, a group that serves to alleviate the suffering of individuals whose family members have died while crossing the US-Mexico border.

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Crossing from California's Imperial Beach and darting around a border fence that separates San Diego from Mexico's Tijuana was a symbolic location. It comes as President Donald Trump vows to extend a border fence across the country, stirring up tensions with Mexico by telling supporters that its southern neighbor will foot the bill.

There are 12 people participating in the fundraiser, featuring swimmers and activists as far abroad as New Zealand, South Africa and Israel.

Israeli swimmer Oded Rahav stated that he joined the swim to show solidarity with immigrants around the world.

The plight of immigrants "is a world issue so we came all the way to show that we love, we care for humanity and it up to us humans to take care of one another," Rahav said.

New Zealander Kim Chambers told Reuters that the international swim highlights how humanity is connected through oceans.



In total, the swim effort took about four hours from Imperial Beach, California to the shores of Playas de Tijuana, where they were received by Mexican marines and a crowd gathered at the beach.

According to the United Nations, hunger and violence are the biggest drivers of global migration.

UN data reported that a record 65.3 million people were uprooted worldwide in 2015, figures not previously seen since World War II.


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