Trump views designs for border wall while bashing California

Aaron Brown
March 14, 2018

President Trump, on his first trip to California since taking office, on Tuesday trashed the state's Democratic governor, saying Jerry Brown is a "nice guy" but doing a "terrible job".

San Diego's Republican mayor criticised Trump's short visit, saying the president won't get a full picture of the city.

"For the people who say "no wall" - if you didn't have walls over here, you wouldn't even have a country", Trump said near the border in San Diego.

The eight prototypes fall into two categories - four are created to be 30-foot concrete walls, and four are made of other materials.

Former Customs and Border Protection chief Jayson Ahern and Bush administration DHS veteran, who's now a principal at The Chertoff Group, said he hopes Trump's advisers are warning him to not appear to put his thumb on the scales - as anything that seems to break from the rulebook could spawn tedious legal challenges by the makers of prototypes that aren't chosen.

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, led a Monday afternoon rally in Beverly Hills in advance of Trump's visit, denouncing the president's plans for a border wall and his immigration stances. He also said certain parts of California are desperate for a wall to break the flow of illegal immigration. Such decision represented a victory for Trump, but it did not mean the construction would start immediately, because Congress still has to authorize or allocate funds to begin the project.

"He's coming to a place that he hasn't visited as president, where he is massively unpopular, where he lost by 4m votes in the election and a place where he faces huge resistance. No wall!" near the San Ysidro crossing, where tens of thousands of people enter the US daily from Tijuana, Mexico, many on their way to work or school in San Diego. The Justice Department recently sued over state laws that limit co-operation with immigration authorities, which state officials have harshly criticized.

"When some people look at the U.S. -Mexico border, they see division", Faulconer said in his state of the city address in 2017.

Trump was to be briefed on lessons learned from the construction of the prototypes built in San Diego last fall.

The mayor, a business-friendly Republican and ardent supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement, said a popular cross-border airport terminal connecting San Diego and Tijuana shows that "building bridges has worked wonders".

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Trump tweeted about California's immigration policies as he flew to the state aboard Air Force One. Many of them were criminals with criminal histories and are very risky people. "THIS MUST STOP!" he wrote.

Given the timing, it's hard to believe statements by White House staff that Trump's visit is not a political move. "Traitor", said one. "Moron", said another - a reference to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who reportedly used that term to describe President Trump past year, and who was abruptly fired earlier Tuesday morning.

"If you didn't have walls", Trump told reporters during his tour earlier Tuesday, "you wouldn't have a country".

"I'll take you to East L.A. and Boyle Heights, " he said.

Jeff Schwilk, founder of San Diegans for Secure Borders, said the City Council's resolution does not reflect the views of many residents, who feel the border is not secure.

The two sides were separated by a heavy presence of police officers in helmets and riot gear, but the rallies were peaceful.

Trump is now en route to San Diego from Washington, D.C.

"The president campaigned on this, he talked about it extensively, and he's the president, and this is something that he is not going to back away from", she said. Organizers said they are gathering to express "Southern California's opposition to the attacks on civil liberties launched by the Trump Administration".

"People are going to continue to pursue a better life".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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