From Mexicali to Calexico: Cross-border commuters

The daily commute from Mexico to California farms is the same as it was before Donald Trump became president. Hundreds of Mexicans cross the border and line the sidewalks of Calexico’s tiny downtown by 4 a.m., napping on cardboard sheets and blankets or sipping coffee from a 24-hour doughnut shop until buses leave for the fields.

For decades, cross-border commuters have picked lettuce, carrots, broccoli, onions, cauliflower and other vegetables that make California’s Imperial Valley “America’s Salad Bowl” from December through March. As Trump visits the border Tuesday, the harvest is a reminder of how little has changed despite heated immigration rhetoric in Washington.

Trump will inspect eight prototypes for a future 30-foot border wall that were built in San Diego last fall. He made a “big, beautiful wall” a centerpiece of his campaign and said Mexico would pay for it.

But border barriers extend the same 654 miles (1,046 kilometers) they did under President Barack Obama and so far Trump hasn’t gotten Mexico or Congress to pay for a new wall. (AP)

Photography by  Gregory Bull/AP

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.

<p>Farmworker Elias Solis, of Mexicali, Mexico, picks cabbage before dawn in a field outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

Farmworker Elias Solis, of Mexicali, Mexico, picks cabbage before dawn in a field outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>Farmworkers walk through a field of cabbage during harvest outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

Farmworkers walk through a field of cabbage during harvest outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>Farmworker Eduardo Garcia, of Mexicali, Mexico, center, puts on an apron and gloves in the glow from the taillights of a bus, as he and his crew arrive at a cabbage field ready for harvest, before dawn outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

Farmworker Eduardo Garcia, of Mexicali, Mexico, center, puts on an apron and gloves in the glow from the taillights of a bus, as he and his crew arrive at a cabbage field ready for harvest, before dawn outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>Farmworkers prepare after a break while harvesting cabbage in a field outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

Farmworkers prepare after a break while harvesting cabbage in a field outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>Farmworker Santiago Martinez, of Mexicali, Mexico, picks cabbage before dawn in a field outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

Farmworker Santiago Martinez, of Mexicali, Mexico, picks cabbage before dawn in a field outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>Farmworkers harvest cabbage before dawn in a field outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

Farmworkers harvest cabbage before dawn in a field outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>Farmworkers harvest cabbage before dawn in a field outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

Farmworkers harvest cabbage before dawn in a field outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>Farmworker Santiago Martinez, of Mexicali, Mexico, right, exits a bus as it arrives at a cabbage field ready for harvest, before dawn outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

Farmworker Santiago Martinez, of Mexicali, Mexico, right, exits a bus as it arrives at a cabbage field ready for harvest, before dawn outside of Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>Farmworkers and others cross in the pre-dawn hours from Mexicali, Mexico, through the Calexico Port of Entry in Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

Farmworkers and others cross in the pre-dawn hours from Mexicali, Mexico, through the Calexico Port of Entry in Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>Farmworkers and others cross in the pre-dawn hours from Mexicali, Mexico, through the Calexico Port of Entry in Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

Farmworkers and others cross in the pre-dawn hours from Mexicali, Mexico, through the Calexico Port of Entry in Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>A worker looks between the first section of a newly-constructed structure along the border separating Mexicali, Mexico and Calexico, Calif., March 5, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

A worker looks between the first section of a newly-constructed structure along the border separating Mexicali, Mexico and Calexico, Calif., March 5, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>A farmworker passes under portraits of the president and vice-president in the pre-dawn hours from Mexicali, Mexico, through the Calexico Port of Entry in Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

A farmworker passes under portraits of the president and vice-president in the pre-dawn hours from Mexicali, Mexico, through the Calexico Port of Entry in Calexico, Calif., March 6, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>A boy looks through the first section of a newly-constructed structure along the border separating Mexicali, Mexico, right, and Calexico, Calif., March 5, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Cross-border commuters

A boy looks through the first section of a newly-constructed structure along the border separating Mexicali, Mexico, right, and Calexico, Calif., March 5, 2018. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

What to Read Next