President Trump’s visit to California, his first since holding the Oval Office, highlights the wide gulf of differences around immigration issues like border security and enforcement. The Golden State, which leans heavily Democratic with liberal tendencies around social and economic issues, sits on the front lines in the implementation of any overhaul efforts.
The president’s early March visit prompted to allow his review of border wall prototypes, comes at a time when Democratic leadership in the state turns up the volume of resistance to Trump Administration policies. In particular, some California state and local politicians have adopted strong patterns that advocate sanctuary policies. Reports circulated widely in February, for instance, that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tipped off undocumented immigrants living in the community about a sweep of the area by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In October, California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed into law a bill “that prevents police from inquiring about immigration status and curtails law enforcement cooperation with immigration officers,” according to Reuters.
While state officials continue to take issue with federal immigration policy, the president and his team continue moving forward with the proposed southern border barrier, a primary campaign issue.
“The border wall is truly our first line of defense,” the president said during his review of various prototypes.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen likewise advocates for a border wall, describing a secure border as one that entails “mission-ready agents, patrol roads, sensor technology and support resources,” according to an agency release.
While movement towards the construction of a wall on the nation’s border offers support for enforcement officials, Nielsen circled back to the political differences Trump Administration officials face from some California politicians. Security, she said, “includes the ability to promptly remove illegal aliens, terrorist and criminals, closing often exploited loopholes in our immigration system.”