Donald Trump - making his first trip to California as president - warned Tuesday there would be "bedlam" without the controversial wall he wants to build on the border with Mexico, as he inspected several prototype barriers.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while participating in a tour of U.S. -Mexico border wall prototypes near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California.
Trump's campaign pledge to build a massive wall along the border between the US and Mexico has proven just as divisive outside Capitol Hill.
California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law last October that prevents police from inquiring about immigration status and curtails law enforcement cooperation with immigration officers.
"You see, in California we are focusing on bridges, not walls", Brown said in the letter, in which he also noted that past presidents have used their inaugural visits to the state to celebrate its diversity.
"Without a wall there would be bedlam, I imagine", he added.More news: US House Republicans Say Probe Found No Collusion Between Russia, Trump
The visit is Trump's first as president to California, a state with which his administration has clashed on issues of border security and immigration.
Construction of the eight wall prototypes in the San Diego area were completed in October of previous year. "The place is totally out of control", Trump criticized. California officials have defiantly refused to help federal agents detain and deport immigrants in the U.S. illegally, and the Justice Department sued the state last week over three of its immigration laws.
Monday, the administration went as far as to accuse California's laws, bizarrely, of bankrolling human trafficking rings.
San Diego's City Council a year ago passed a resolution opposing Trump's proposed wall. "I said 'nope, approve the whole wall, California'".
The president then headed to Miramar where he addressed members of the military.
The president said Tuesday that the state's sanctuary policies "put the entire nation at risk".More news: Fact-check: Trump inflates his share of women's votes
"They shield criminals. You can't do that", he said.
Trump lost the state to Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
San Diego's City Council a year ago passed a resolution opposing Trump's proposed wall.
On the other side of the border, in Tijuana, Mexico, residents laughed off the idea the monolithic slabs will stop desperate immigrants. Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand MORE announced the lawsuit during a visit to Sacramento last week.
Ahead of his arrival, the president tweeted that "thousands of risky, violent criminal aliens are released" as a result of California's immigration sanctuary policies. He will also attend a fundraiser in Los Angeles, where he will stay overnight.
"The round piece that you see up here or you see more clearly back there", the president said, pointing at various models, "the larger it is, the better it is - because it's very hard to get over the top". We must enforce our laws & protect our people!More news: Vincent Kompany Motivated to Win Premier League Title Against Manchester United
"It's not good", said Mauricio Villegas, 37, glancing toward the fence and prototype walls as he passed through on his way to a job at a veterinary office.
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