Trump examines border wall prototypes in California

by Garry Watts March 14, 2018, 5:45
Trump examines border wall prototypes in California

Eight 30-foot-tall prototypes have been erected near the Mexican border, south of San Diego, to serve as models. A Public Policy Institute of California poll released in January found that 73 percent of adults in the state opposed the wall while just a quarter supported it. Trump lost the state by a two-to-one margin in 2016, the worst performance of any modern Republican presidential candidate.

Trump's solo flight suggests the political risk he brings to state Republicans given his low popularity in California.

Also at the site, awaiting him in contrasting silence, are the roughly 30-foot mockups the Department of Homeland Security picked to give a closer look - four of which are solid concrete, while the other four are built of "other materials", including steel.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer - who is not expected to meet with Trump during his visit - did not support a 2017 city resolution formally opposing the border, but he also did not veto it. "The criminals take refuge in these sanctuary cities and it's very unsafe for our police and enforcement folks".

During his visit, the president reiterated the importance he granted to that work, one of his main promises during his campaign, because if the wall is not built, 'we will not have a country, ' he said.

Mr Trump also slammed Mr Brown for high state taxes, saying Mr Brown "has done a very poor job running California".

Another protest, called "Unwelcome Rally at Santa Monica Airport Park", will take place at that airport at about 2 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Times. This weekend, he focused his weekly radio address on criticizing the state's stance toward undocumented immigrants. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, it was his first visit to the state since taking office a year ago.

The visit comes amid increasing tensions between the Trump administration and the left-leaning state over differing views on immigration.

Donald Trump examined eight different styles of walls on the U.S. border with Mexico, prototypes for the barrier he promised to build to keep out illegal immigrants and drugs. He crosses the border from Mexico daily to work at a San Diego restaurant.

Trump's Justice Department last week sued the state over three of its immigration laws.

Congress has yet to approve the funding amid skepticism and Democratic opposition, but an administration official said the wall would save far more money than it cost.

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The Justice Department last week sued to block a trio of California laws created to protect people living in the USA illegally.

Trump's statements about building the the wall - and making Mexico pay for it - has stirred anger in Mexico.

On Monday, members of United States and Mexican agencies gathered at the Federal Police command centre near Tijuana's A.L. Rodriguez International Airport to make final arrangements.

Meanwhile, anti-Trump protesters gathered near the Plaza Las Americas mall in San Ysidro with signs including "love has no borders" and "no hate in the Golden State".

Trump said he noticed the repaired holes in some parts of the existing fence at the border.

"I have a great relationship with the president of Mexico, wonderful guy Enrique", Trump said.

In Trump fashion, he posted the video on Twitter, about two hours after leaving the site of the prototypes, and even before he was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles for his next event on Tuesday, a fundraiser in Beverly Hills.

Not long after Trump touched down in San Diego just before noon, swarms of demonstrators rallying against his administration and his supporters were already out in full force - divided by a row of uniformed officers holding onto batons.

Asked about the President's visit, DHS spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said the "normal course of the procurement process" will be followed.

On Monday Sanders stressed that the wall is something Trump "is not going to back away from" and will continue to push for.

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