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Mexican human wall protest starts on US border

Thousands of Mexicans have linked arms to form a 'human wall' on the border with the US on the edge of the Rio Grande river. Almost 1.5 kilometers long, the human wall is protesting Trump's plan to build an actual wall.

The protest - organized by local authorities and Mexican advocacy groups and including El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser - brought together people armed with flowers to the border town of Ciudad Juarez, which is already separated by extensive fencing from its US neighbor city El Paso.

Many people on both sides of the border cross it daily, calling one country home while going to work in the other.

"Ciudad Juarez and El Paso are one city - we will never be apart," said Leeser, who was born on the Mexican side of the border.

People hold signs during an anti-Trump march in Mexico City on February 12, 2017

People hold signs during an anti-Trump march in Mexico City on February 12, 2017

His Ciudad Juarez counterpart Mayor Armando Cabada said his town would help resettle migrants deported from the US.

"Trump only generates fear in our US compatriots. We must show solidarity with them and tell them that they have our support," he said. "If they are deported, we will welcome them with open arms."

Protestors shouted slogans at Trump, whose plans to build the wall to keep undocumented immigrants out of the US - and make Mexico foot the bill - has angered many people.

Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 680 people across the US as part of a crackdown by the new administration on the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

A similar protest was planned on Mexico's Pacific coast, at the border between the city of Tijuana and its US neighbor San Diego.

Trump has promised to make Mexico pay for the wall, something Mexican officials say they will not do.

Watch video 01:40

Thousands attend anti-Trump protests in Mexico

jbh/kl (AFP, AP)

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