Trump to make first trip as president to defiant California
Los Angeles (AFP) - US President Donald Trump is heading to California, a state at the forefront of resistance to his anti-immigration agenda, for what is almost certain to be a contentious trip.
Trump's first trip to California as president, on Tuesday, comes at a time of high tensions between his Republican administration and the Democratic-leaning most populous US state, especially on immigration issues.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has accused the state of deliberately obstructing enforcement of federal law by offering undocumented immigrants sanctuary protections.
Governor Jerry Brown said the Trump administration "is basically going to war against the state of California," after the Justice Department sued to block its sanctuary laws.
"Sanctuary jurisdictions are the best friend of smugglers, gang members, drug dealers, human traffickers, killers and other violent offenders," the president said in his weekly address.
"The state of California is sheltering dangerous criminals in a brazen and lawless attack on our constitutional system of governmentâ€‹."
The president will land at the Miramar air base in southern California and then go see prototypes of the wall he wants to build on America's southern border.
California was among the plaintiffs that launched an unsuccessful court challenge to waivers to environmental regulations that were granted so the construction of the prototypes and the replacement of existing border fencing could proceed.
"We're going for what we hope to be an incredibly positive trip," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Friday, while also taking aim at California for "refusing to follow federal law," a reference to the state's efforts to shelter illegal immigrants from deportation.
Trump will also meet with members of the US military, Sanders said.
And he is expected to wrap up the visit with an evening of fundraising in Beverly Hills to raise money for his 2020 re-election campaign.
- 'A place with money' -
The "Golden State" and the president are at odds over issues ranging from immigration and the environment to marijuana and guns.Read More...