President Donald Trump pronounced on Tuesday during a visit near the U.S. – Mexican border in California that Gov. Jerry Brown is doing a “very poor job” running the state.
Trump’s assessment came after inspecting eight prototypes of his proposed border wall.
A reporter asked the president how he would respond to criticism from Brown that the money used to construct the wall could be better spent elsewhere.
“Gov. Brown does a very poor job running California,” Trump said. “They have the highest taxes in the United States. The place is totally out of control. You have sanctuary cities where you have criminals living in the sanctuary cities.”
“And then the mayor of Oakland goes out and notifies when (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is going in to pick them up,” he added. “And many of them were criminals with criminal records and very dangerous people.”
“So the governor of California, nice guy … has not done the job,” Trump concluded.
Brown responded via Twitter to Trump’s critique, writing “bridges are still better than walls,” and adding California is the most prosperous state in the nation.
The Los Angeles Times reported: “Trump’s visit brings him to the home turf of the resistance movement against his presidency. Immigrant, labor and LGBTQ rights activists are protesting while Democratic lawmakers are competing to raise their own profiles by denouncing him loudest.”
One of those California Democrat politicians seeking to capitalize on Trump’s visit is Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the front-runner in the state’s gubernatorial race.
Newsom released a video mocking Trump’s wall and proclaiming the president wants to “Make America White Again.”
It also falsely represents that Trump wants to build a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexican border.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stated in January that the administration was seeking funding for 700 miles of wall construction to target strategic areas along the 2,000-mile border.
There are currently approximately 650 miles of fencing in various forms along that border.
Around 350 miles consist of pedestrian fencing, usually about 15 feet tall, and there are 300 miles of vehicle barriers in place as well.
Newsom also proclaimed the wall would not be effective.
According to federal data, illegal border crossings in El Paso, Texas, dropped 89 percent over a 5-year period after a two-story-high fence was erected there during the George W. Bush administration.
Similarly, in San Diego, crossings dropped 95 percent in 2006 after a fence was erected as part of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which passed both chambers of Congress by large majorities.
Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally said the results were similar in her state.
Without a wall, the Homeland Security Department estimates there will be 1.7 million illegal crossings from Mexico into the U.S. over the next decade.
Trump tweeted a study by the Center for Immigration Studies had determined the wall would pay for itself in savings to the American taxpayer.
The study concluded the costs of the $18 billion wall would be quickly made up for by curbing the number of illegal immigrants who enter the country and enroll in public programs such as welfare and food stamps, as well as the costs associated with crime.
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