Trump Makes San Diego Trip in First Presidential Tour of California

Created: 15 March, 2018
Last update: 27 July, 2022

By Ana Gomez Salcido

In regards to homeland security, there is no other option other than building a new wall that divides Mexico from the United States, this according to President Donald Trump during his visit to San Diego on Tuesday, March 13.

In his first visit to California since he became president on Jan. 20, 2017, Trump arrived on Air Force One at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar at approximately at 11:30 a.m.

He then traveled to Otay Mesa, to the site where the eight border wall prototypes were built, just a few feet from the Mexican border.

The wall prototypes were built last year as part of Trump’s initiative to stop immigration of undocumented individuals, a platform which he promoted since the start of his presidential campaign.

The President was joined by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Kevin K. McAleenan, acting Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol Carla Provost, and San Diego Border Patrol Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott.

“The border wall is truly our first line of defense, and it’s probably, if you think about it, our first and last, other than the great ICE agents and other people-moving people out,” said Trump during his visit at the wall prototypes site. “It will save thousands of lives, save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars by reducing crime, drug flow, welfare fraud, and burdens on schools and hospitals. The wall will save hundreds of billions of dollars, many, many times what it’s going to cost.”

After his tour near the border, the President returned to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, where he spoke to a group of over 1,000 people, mostly Marine infantry and some servicemen family members.

“Dangerous criminals and terrorist organizations relentlessly seek to exploit our immigration system. I’ve just come from a trip to the border were I met with our wonderful border agents. The Border Patrol and ICE agents are unbelievable people,” Trump said. “I reviewed prototypes of a new physical wall that will protect our border and protect our country. We don’t have a choice, we need it, we need it for the drugs, for the gangs, we need it for a lot of reasons. We have to have it.”

Trump said a new wall along the border with Mexico would have a successful rate of 99.5 percent, and would not be climbed, although he didn’t provide any statistics to prove that as a fact.

“The drugs will stop, by a lot, although we have to get a lot tougher with the drug dealers, we have too. That wall will stop so much and we look at the different prototypes and they were fascinating,” Trump added.

The event held at the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar had people in the audience that were in favor of Trump’s policies, as well as people that are against his policies such as San Diego resident Meji Flores.

“I’m not thrilled to be here, I’m just here because my husband is a Marine and he was invited to come here, but I’m against the president’s politics,” said Flores. “I’m just here because Trump’s visit as president is part of history.”

The President also talked about California being a sanctuary state, which implies that police officers can’t ask an individual about their immigration status. It also implies that local police officer can’t get involved in actions taken by federal agents like ICE.

“California sanctuary policies put the entire nation at risk. They’re the best friend of the criminal. That’s what exactly is happening. The criminals take refuge in these sanctuary cities, and it’s very dangerous for our police and enforcement folks,” said Trump.

The President also talked about increasing the budget for the U.S. Marines with the inclusion of an increase in wages for next year.

“I liked watching the president,” said Wyatt Costa, a 14-year-old who accompanied his father and two brothers at the event. “I think it’s a great thing that Trump wants to increase the budget for the Marines.”