President Donald Trump was welcomed this morning in San Diego by border wall protesters holding U.S. and Mexican flags chanting, “No ban! No wall!” and "We reject your hate! We don’t need your racist wall!"
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Trump was visiting the San Ysidro port in San Diego to be briefed by border patrol agents and engineers regarding the eight, 30-foot prototypes for a border wall the president wants to have erected across the 3,200km expanse that separates the U.S. and Mexico.
Drivers honked their horns in protest as they passed through the U.S.’s busiest official border crossing. Mexican truck drivers denounced the wall in Tijuana by parking their large haul trucks in front of the prototypes, which blocked them from view from Mexico.
"When we build, we want to build the right thing…We need safety and security at the border and we’re getting it, like we’ve never gotten it before," the president told those gathered in front of the wall examples. He added, "certain parts of California are desperate for a wall to break the flow of illegal immigration," claiming that the wall will help the U.S. protect itself from Mexican drug cartels.
An ABC survey published yesterday found that 60 percent of those in the United States oppose finishing the wall with Mexico. Trump says he prefers the concrete examples because they are hardest to climb.
The head of state went on to say that Governor Jerry Brown is doing a "terrible job running the state of California."
On the heels of the administration’s lawsuit against the state of California for declaring several sanctuary cities and supposedly usurping federal immigration law, the president criticized local officials: "You have sanctuary cities where you have criminals living in the sanctuary cities and then the mayor of Oakland goes out and notifies when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is going in to pick them up. … Many of them were criminals with criminal records and very dangerous people," claimed Trump.
Tensions among most Californians and the administration are at a peak as ICE just conducted a four-day raid across the San Francisco area arresting 232 suspected undocumented immigrants, 180 of whom the agency says are "convicted criminals" or wanted for deportation.
The state of California has also issued its own lawsuit against the administration – Department of Homeland Security – for forfeiting several environmental laws to speed up the construction of the wall.
Laiken Jordahl from the Center for Biological Diversity, which led the lawsuit campaign, says the president’s "border wall plans are completely unhinged from reality."