Pres. Trump addressing military in San Diego


US President Donald Trump has eagerly inspected prototypes on display in California for his "big handsome border wall", but peaceful protests highlighted growing tensions between his administration and the state over immigration enforcement.

His first stop was Otay Mesa, where the president's focus was on the border wall.

Gov. Jerry Brown, a vocal Trump critic, tried to find common ground with the president.

He further slammed the Democrat for immigration and tax policy adding that while he thought Brown was a "nice guy" but "has not done the job".

Building a wall along the border with Mexico was a central campaign issue for Trump, who said the wall will help fight drug trafficking and unauthorized immigration. "And by the way, if I get $25 billion for the wall, you're going to have a lot of change".

Trump also boasted that they are working on prototypes before the wall is built so that they don't have to go back and rebuild it if it fails to prevent illegal immigration.

Wall or no wall, the Border Patrol estimates that it stops 81 percent of illegal crossings by detaining people or getting them to turn around.

During his visit, Trump took aim at so-called "sanctuary cities" in California - local governments that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials seeking to deport illegal immigrants. "And California remains the 6th largest economy in the world and the most prosperous state in America".

"We know the Trump administration is full of liars".

Trump's visit was greeted with peaceful protests by demonstrators both for and against his planned wall.

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The president said Tuesday during a tour of prototypes of his border wall that he has property in California, but the taxes are out of control.

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"They're the best friend of the criminal", Trump said.

Trump Tuesday tweeted about California's immigration policies as he flew to the state aboard Air Force One.

Trump will also be addressing Marines in San Diego before flying to Los Angeles for a high-dollar fundraiser.

Protests are also planned across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, as Trump examines the 30-foot-tall prototypes created to fulfill his signature campaign promise.

He'll also address United States military personnel stationed near the border and attend the fundraiser in Los Angeles.

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. The mayor's office said Faulconer, a Republican, has been clear in his opposition to walls along the border, but he did not want to blacklist companies involved in the construction of the prototypes.

This isn't Trump's first visit to the border.

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.