IMPERIAL BEACH (CNS) - A dozen swimmers from five countries swim from Imperial Beach to Tijuana Friday to raise awareness of immigration issues.
The event is intended to raise funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, which assists families of migrants who died while crossing into the U.S.
The swimmers are scheduled to depart from the south side of the Imperial Beach Pier around 8:30 a.m. and arrive at Playas de Tijuana in Mexico about four hours later. They plan to unfurl a banner at the border.
They represent the U.S. and Mexico, along with Israel, New Zealand and South Africa. Between them, they've completed several cross-border swims, such as England to France, Scotland to Northern Ireland, Israel to Jordan, Cyprus to Israel, the U.S. to Canada and Spain to Morocco, organizers said.
One of them, New Zealand-native Kim Chambers, was the first woman to swim the 30 miles from the Farallon Islands to San Francisco. Another, Antonio Arguelles, is an entrepreneur from Mexico City involved in education, technology and aquatics.
"We hope to bring people from various countries together as ambassadors of goodwill to express our deepest concern in a way we know best -- swimming,'' the group said in a joint statement. "Ignoring human suffering is something that those of us in privileged societies should not allow.''
They said their swim should not imply a position on President Donald Trump's proposed border wall and that they would prefer the focus to be on the Colibri Center's activities.