Trump makes first California visit as president

Mar 14, 2018, 05:45
Trump makes first California visit as president

Protests around the county of Los Angeles are organizing online and the Los Angeles Police Department is taking extra precautions just hours ahead of President Donald Trump's first official visit to California.

Protests are also planned across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, when Trump visits the wall prototypes built along the worldwide border to fulfill his signature campaign promise.

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.

But James Schwab, who quit his job as regional spokesman for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement department, said he believed the number was much lower.

Trump, met by dozens of protesters as he arrived in Southern California, spoke with officials about the benefits of a wall along the border with Mexico, one of his signature campaign promises.

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Demonstrators draped themselves in USA flags and waved placards emblazoned with slogans such as "Humpty Trumpty will fall off his wall", "Resist unstable idiot", and "No hate in the Golden State". 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. It is his first visit as president to the state of California. "No wall!" Protests were also held on the Mexican side, in Tijuana.

The wall prototypes were constructed pursuant to an Executive Order issued on President Trump's fifth day in office. They carried signs supporting the wall and opposing California's "sanctuary state" laws.

Trump's insistence that Mexico pay for the wall has soured relations and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto recently canceled plans to visit Washington amid continuing disagreement.

After viewing the wall prototypes in an area of the border heavily cordoned off and far from the rallies on the U.S. side, Trump was then expected to address Marines in San Diego before attending a high-dollar fundraiser in Los Angeles, where he'll stay overnight. Many of them were criminals with criminal histories and are very unsafe people.

The mayor says a popular cross-border airport terminal connecting San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, shows that "building bridges has worked wonders".

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Trump previously lambasted California in recent weeks, threatening to withdraw federal law enforcement agents and suing the state over its immigration rules. "THIS MUST STOP!" he wrote. Trump is scheduled to visit San Diego, Tuesday, setting foot in California for his first time as president.

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

Trump told reporters then that he was putting himself "in great danger" by coming to the border.

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.

Jeff Schwilk, founder of San Diegans for Secure Borders, whose group participated in a rally in December near the prototypes that ended in clashes with counter-protesters, said the council's resolution does not reflect the views of many residents who feel the border is not secure.

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"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. Jerry Brown, saying the Democrat has done a "terrible" job running the state, leading to exorbitant taxes and sanctuary cities that protect criminals. "It's something that he's going to continue to push for".

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