Trump spent 22 hours in California. Here’s what happened

Share via

President Trump criticized California Gov. Jerry Brown on the topic of immigration during a stop in San Diego to see prototypes of the border wall and also spoke to the military. He stayed overnight at a swanky hotel in downtown Los Angeles after attending a private fundraiser in a gated community.

Sign up for our Essential Politics newsletter and subscribe to the L.A. Times.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is having a moment. But will a war with Trump help or hurt the city?

When Mayor Libby Schaaf delivered her most recent State of the City address, she moved the event from Oakland’s City Hall to a location rife with symbolism, the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California.

It was a way of sending a message, about openness and inclusion, that was characteristic of a mayor known more for the quiet details of policy planning than the clenched-fist politics of this urban liberal hotbed.

What followed a few weeks later, tipping off the community to an impending federal immigration raid, was an even more emphatic statement.

Read More

Share via

Trump’s visit draws fans cheering him to ‘Make America Great Again’ — and foes venting their anger directly at him for first time

President Trump spent his day in California perusing border wall samples, needling state officials, raising money and upholding a White House tradition: inciting traffic so bad it gets a name.

Obamajams made way for “Make America Late Again” on Tuesday, as Trump paid his first visit to California — a rogue state in his eyes — since he won the election in 2016.

It was a trip that brought out his most ardent lovers and haters, with enough law enforcement and barricades to keep them from assaulting each other — at least as of Tuesday evening.

Read More

Share via

Trump will be leaving downtown Los Angeles in the middle of your commute

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

President Trump’s busy day trekking around Southern California concluded late Tuesday, but the traffic nightmare is not over for Angelenos.

Trump’s motorcade is expected to leave the Intercontinental Hotel at the Grand Wilshire Center in downtown Los Angeles at 8:30 a.m. and head to Dodger Stadium. From there, he’ll take a helicopter to L.A. International Airport. He will leave from LAX to head for an event in Missouri. And this all will be happening during prime commute time.

The following streets are to be closed:

- Figueroa Street between 8th Street and 6th Street

- Wilshire Boulevard between Flower Street and Beaudry Avenue

- 7th Street between Flower Street and Bixel Street.

LAPD also suggested avoiding the area bounded by 5th Street on the north, Olympic Boulevard on the south, Union Avenue on the west and Grand Avenue on the east.

It sounds as though several of the presidential security measures in place around the 73-story hotel will remain in effect Wednesday.

Even traveling by helicopter, it is safe to assume the roads will be jammed in the morning.

7:15 a.m.: This post was updated with new information about Trump’s travel.

Share via

Watch: Trump’s day in California in three minutes

President Trump visited California for the first time as president March 13.

Share via

Anti-Trump protesters put their message to the president in lights

Jesse Madera holds a flag that is an amalgamation of the U.S. and Mexico flags while he and other people chant, protesting President Trump.
Jesse Madera holds a flag that is an amalgamation of the U.S. and Mexico flags while he and other people chant, protesting President Trump.
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Tudor Popescu
(Melissa Etehad / Los Angeles Times)

A few hundred protesters assembled outside the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel on Tuesday night as they awaited the expected arrival of President Trump, who attended a fundraiser in Beverly Park earlier in the evening.

Chants of “Not my president, not my system” echoed down the block as curious bystanders stood nearby.

Tudor Popescu, 38, brought a projector to cast “Oppose Racism. Oppose Trump” in bright lettering on Figueroa Tower across the street from the hotel. Trump has frequently been the target of strongly worded messages projected onto the Washington, D.C., hotel bearing his name.

Popescu, a software engineer, said he spent the day protesting in Beverly Hills and traveled with about 15 other protesters on a bus to downtown L.A.

“It’s a sad day to have Trump here,” he said. “But our spirit isn’t broken.”

Protesters rally at 7th and Figueroa streets waiting for the arrival of President Trump to the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Anti-Trump protesters gather outside the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel at 7th and Figueroa streets
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
Share via

A fancy downtown L.A. hotel waits for Trump to arrive

People wait at the corner of 7th and Figueroa streets for the arrival of President Trump across the street from the InterContinental hotel.
People wait at the corner of 7th and Figueroa streets for the arrival of President Trump across the street from the InterContinental hotel.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The lobby of the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel sits on the 70th floor of the Wilshire Grand building. Its floor-to-ceiling windows provide a clear view all the way to the ocean, and by 6:30 p.m. it was really starting to fill up with guests.

Earlier in the day, it felt as if the 73-story hotel was in the middle of a cloud. As the sun broke through, Paul Saxton moved closer to the window to get a good shot of the angelic sunset and the Hollywood sign.

“When I saw this view, I was like, oh, my God!” said Saxton, a retired New Yorker who used to work near Trump Tower. He said he was in town with his wife, who is managing a conference taking place in the hotel.

The hotel, of course, is where President Trump is staying Tuesday night. Which means checking in on this particular day is no ordinary hotel stay.

Paul Saxton
(Benjamin Oreskes / Los Angeles Times)

Saxton said the added security meant that many of the guests and even some of the speakers at the conference couldn’t get into the hotel. Guests were forced to go through metal detectors in the lobby and are being wanded by Secret Service when they return from the pool on the seventh floor.

Saxton, a lifelong Democrat, said he was a bit perplexed over why Trump was staying downtown when he had been raising money in Beverly Hills. He quipped that the president must have gotten a good deal or a free room. (More likely, the president and his entourage on the trip received the standard government rate.)

Guests walk through a screening area before entering the InterContinental hotel where President Trump is expected to be staying.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

There were plenty of ways for people to forget the security measures and protesters gathering outside.

As they swam laps in the hotel pool, Davis, 13, and Mila, 9, were unfazed by the crush of sirens and helicopters overhead.

They didn’t care about the rain either — even if it made the pool kind of cold.

Dad Moses Luevano sat in the hot tub nearby, on his phone as they splashed each other and enjoyed the scene. The family is visiting from San Antonio and are headed next to Boston and Washington.

“It’s like we’re following the president,” Moses joked.

The family didn’t know Trump was coming and his presence made their trek to the Santa Monica Pier more difficult this morning. They had to take the Expo Line.

Luevano said he voted for Trump and was pleased with the tax cut the president enacted, but is turned off by the “personal stuff.” He suggested the president enjoy the view while he’s in town.

“He’s staying in the newest biggest, tallest hotel in Los Angeles. He has to sit on the top of the tower.”

Share via

This is what it looks like when the president holds a fundraiser in a gated community

President Trump has left the Beverly Park mansion of Shari and Edward Glazer after spending several hours talking to Republican donors.

The Glazer residence — a brick home painted tan with a slate-colored roof — sits at the end of a cul-de-sac. Beverly Park is a gated community east of the Beverly Glen neighborhood. Current and former residents include media magnates Sumner Redstone and Haim Saban and celebrities Denzel Washington, Sylvester Stallone, Gene Simmons and Rod Stewart. The community is part of Los Angeles but carries Beverly Hills’ 90210 ZIP Code.

Donors who paid a minimum of $35,000 and up to $250,000 per ticket arrived at a staging area down the hill from the house in the early evening. They were brought up to the fundraiser in golf carts, passing a row of magnolia trees along the way. Edward Glazer is co-chairman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A large white tent could be seen in the backyard of the house, lined with tall trees.

During the event, a faint smell of marijuana seemed to waft from a property a few doors down.

The fundraiser and its high-profile headliner prompted many street closures, and police shut down Mulholland Drive so that the Trump motorcade could swiftly leave the area.

It also forced residents to change their daily routines.

Valerie Price Simon, 55, had to park her car down the road and hike up Beverly Glen carrying her groceries (steaks and mozzarella).

Steve Wazeji, 38, was late to relieve the nanny, who was watching his two-year-old daughter.

Wazeji said he voted for Trump in 2016 because he believed the billionaire “can’t be bought.” Asked about the fundraiser still underway where donors were ponying up as much as a quarter million dollars to spend time with the president, Wazeji paused and then said, “If it’s for the RNC, it’s okay.”

Simmons, the lead singer of KISS, offered a nuanced take on Trump disrupting his neighborhood as he sat down Tuesday evening for dinner with wife Shannon Tweed and other family members at an Italian restaurant in Beverly Glen.

“I have a very American point of view. I’m totally supportive of anyone who wants to demonstrate – that’s the American way,” he said. “What’s being lost is civility and class. We’re acting like animals” on both sides of the aisle.

“Whether [Trump] is the president they voted for, he won in the Electoral College,” Simmons added. “If you don’t like reality, vote and change it.”

Simmons, wearing trademark all-black with his long hair tied in a ponytail, demurred when asked who he voted for in the 2016 presidential election. “Never ask a woman her age, and never ask anyone who they voted for,” he said.

He wasn’t too worried about the street closures, saying, “The police like me.”

Back at the fundraiser, expected to raise $5 million for Trump’s reelection and the Republican National Committee, it was difficult to discern who was in attendance.

Glazer, 48, is the son of the late billionaire Malcolm Glazer. In addition to the Bucs, his family owns the Manchester United soccer team. Glazer is also president of First Allied Corp., the family’s real estate company.

Glazer donated $98,000 to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and $250,000 to his inauguration. But he has also supported Democrats. In 2016, he gave $5,400 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on the same day he donated $33,400 to the RNC.

10 p.m.: This post has been updated with additional details.

Share via

Anti-Trump rally in Beverly Hills is more festival than protest

For the hundreds gathered in Beverly Hills on Tuesday afternoon, the demonstration against President Trump resembled a festival more than a protest. Street vendors sold hot dogs, a live band played music and a stage was set up for speakers.

The event at Beverly Gardens Park brought a wide array of activists, including LGBTQ and immigrant right groups. Some protesters took advantage of the mud-covered areas in the park that formed after the rain to write “Dump Trump” on the ground.

Tourists on a red double-decker bus snarled in traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard snapped photos of protesters as music blared in the background.

Riley Parks McDonald, 52, said he started protesting around 2 p.m. The Echo Park resident said the diverse crowds and festive atmosphere made him feel empowered.

“We can’t be complicit with what’s going on,” he said speaking on Trump’s policies affecting immigrants and the LGBTQ community.

He said he was happy that some of the most vocal groups were young immigrants. “The crowd was heated and passionate,” he said.

Omar Mohamed, 37, moved to Los Angeles this week from Ohio to start a two-month job as a nurse, but said after seeing hundreds of people vocalize their frustration and anger toward Trump’s policies that he doesn’t want to leave.

“People in my community back in Ohio voted silently, so we were shocked when Trump became president,” he said as cars honked in support of demonstrators who were playing loud music and chanting anti-Trump slogans.

Nearby, Mohamed’s friend Heather Semreen, who is a nurse in Ohio, snapped pictures of an inflatable Trump. She returns home next week and said she is happy she got a taste of the activism in Los Angeles.

“This needs to be heard,” she said.

For Mohamed, who emigrated from Tanzania as a child, Trump’s election has left him hesitant to tell people he’s American.

“I used to brag to people while I traveled that I live in America because I was proud of President Obama,” he said. “I don’t do that anymore.”

Across the street from the park, three parking attendants surveyed the scene.

“It’s strange to see it here,” said Manny Gonzalez, 22. “It’s Beverly Hills.”

He pointed to a street vendor selling hot dogs.

“I have never, ever seen that until today,” he said.

Standing next to him, Alvaro Castro, 37, took a sip of his coffee as cumbia blared from loudspeakers in the bed of a truck.

“I don’t usually hear this music here,” he said. “I’m glad [the protesters are] being so pacifico,” he said, noting that the word is a Salvadoran slang term for “chill.”

“They’re being peaceful and not burning flags or anything like that,” Castro said.

He turned to his colleague Rosauro Gabriel, 54, and asked him what he thought.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “As long as it stays peaceful.”

“A welcome is a welcome, no?”

7:47 p.m.: This article was updated with additional quotes from observers of the rally.

This article was originally published at 6:57 p.m.

Share via

Scenes from President Trump’s day in California

Share via

Anti-Trump protesters gather in Beverly Hills

As President Trump made his way to a fundraiser, protesters gathered at the Beverly Gardens Park in Beverly Hills.

The Times’ Ruben Vives spoke to demonstrators.

Share via

Trump’s arrival in Los Angeles comes with rain — and lots of traffic

7th Street traffic is blocked by an LAPD bus a block away from the Intercontinental Hotel where President Trump will be staying in downtown.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

What creates more traffic in Los Angeles: light rain or a visit from the president?

The two combined gave drivers something to grumble about late Tuesday.

Shortly after President Trump touched down at Los Angeles International Airport, traffic came to a standstill in several parts of the city. As Trump’s motorcade drove from Los Angeles to the Beverly Hills area for a fundraiser, drivers and stalled observers shared views of their rainy rides on social media.

At one point, the navigation app Waze told drivers to expect delays of up to nearly 50 minutes near Mulholland Drive, the primary traffic artery to the event in the Beverly Park gated community.

Others commented on the difficulty they experienced picking up kids from school or getting home because of the street closures.

Trump is expected to stay overnight at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel at Wilshire Grand Center. Several street and freeway closures have already been planned for his arrival.

Share via

Family of far-right activists awaits Trump in downtown Los Angeles

John Turano and his daughter, Bianca, wrap themselves in flags while waiting for President Trump in downtown Los Angeles.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

It hasn’t been confirmed where President Trump will spend the night after he attends a Beverly Park fundraiser Tuesday night. But across the street from the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel in the Wilshire Grand — where building officials sent an email to tenants last week announcing a high-profile visitor — a family of Trump supporters stood in the rain waiting for his arrival.

John Turano, a far-right activist known as “Based Spartan” for his Greek warrior-inspired dress, drove his two sons from La Puente to San Diego on Tuesday morning so they could take part in the festivities around Trump’s inspection of border wall prototypes. Then he turned around with his wife, Diana, and their 23-year-old daughter, Bianca, so he could welcome the president to Los Angeles.

“There were no counterprotesters [in San Diego],” said Turano, who was filmed fighting protesters during an April rally in Berkeley. “L.A. is where the action is at!”

Turano said his family had been cruising around the city and Beverly Hills trying to find the best place to catch a glimpse of Trump. Turano and his wife spent time on the road last year traveling to pro-Trump rallies around the state, including those in Berkeley.

Bianca Turano said that the rain “makes me feel like I’m more supportive of my president.”

Share via

Trump’s motorcade has arrived in Beverly Park for a $35,000-minimum fundraiser

President Trump at LAX.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

President Trump has arrived at a private home in Beverly Park for a $35,000-minimum dinner to raise money for his reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee. The event is expected to last several hours and raise $5 million from the expected 90 attendees.

As Trump’s motorcade drove along Mulholland Drive, a police officer stood in nearly every driveway until the cars entered a gated community.

A sign on the street outside the fundraiser read: “Absolutely no cell phones.”

Share via

Downtown Los Angeles prepares for Trump’s arrival with street closures

(Javier Panzar / Los Angeles Times)

Downtown Los Angeles prepared for President Trump’s arrival this evening by blockading a number of busy streets.

The simple act of getting lunch transformed into long journey for some Angelenos.

Share via

She heard Trump is afraid of sharks, so she used a shark mask to protest him in Santa Monica

(Ruben Vives / Los Angeles Times)

Diana Duncan came to the Santa Monica Airport observation deck with a sign and a shark mask to see President Trump arrive via helicopter.

“I’m here to tell him he’s not welcome here,” Duncan said. “He’s a traitor.”

The 60-year-old Santa Monica resident said she brought the shark mask because she learned the president is afraid of them. She also held a small sign that read, “Not our president.”

Onlookers noticing that crowds had gathered to protest Trump’s arrival stood around watching police officers patrolling the tarmac. “What a waste of taxpayers’ money,” said Martha Burns, 56. She joked that California needs “a wall to protect us from Trump.”

Nearby families stood together with their children. Among them was Carlos Jimenez and his 4-year-old son who watched the motorcade pass by.

“Regardless of political party it’s still the president,” Jimenez said. “This is mostly for him. It’s an experience.”

As rain began to fall, the small crowd of protesters huddled together near a door to avoid getting wet. They practiced what they would chant: “Please leave, please leave.”

At least one person flipped off Marine One.

Standing nearby, Susan Diamond, 49, said she wanted her 12-year-old son to see the president arrive and to also show him that free speech is important. “We came to protest and show him that our values are different from this president,” she said.

Her son said Marine One looked like a drone.

“I like the way they take off,” he said.

Share via

‘You wouldn’t even have a country’ without the border wall, Trump says as he inspects prototypes

President Trump inspected eight border wall prototypes in San Diego on Tuesday afternoon.

He discussed the wall options with officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection as well as an expert in the field.

As the president examined each prototype under overcast skies, Secret Service agents stood perched on trailers, looking across the border with binoculars.

Customs and Border Protection contractor Jim O’Loughlin clutched a binder and flipped through its pages as he explained the particulars of each wall. Trump nodded along, sometimes pointing to a page to ask a question.

After looking at one prototype, Trump stopped to ask Rodney S. Scott, chief patrol agent for the Customs and Border Protection’s San Diego Sector, a question: What was this part of San Diego like before the current fence was built?

“Chaotic,” Scott replied, adding that the wall changed the environment for the better.

Citing the present wall as evidence, Trump singled out those opposed to a new barrier and said, “you wouldn’t even have a country” without the present one.

Trump said that he has a preference for the kind of wall he’d like to see — a barrier with a “see-through” component.

“You need to see what’s behind the wall,” he told reporters, his hands clasped in front of him.

“Look how many holes are in that fence,” he added, referring to the current border. “The fence is not strong enough.”

Trump said a wall without the see-though element would be a problem. The president said Mexico has “a lot of problems” such as the cartels, and a new border wall would help keep them out.

“Nobody ever fought them like we fought them,” he said.

As he walked along the prototypes shortly after, he paused to ask O’Loughlin a question about which would be the most difficult wall to climb. The expert noted that the wall at the end of the row may be the most difficult. Trump nodded.

Looking over a diptych showing a photo of the border from the 1990s on one side and a picture of the current border area on the other, Trump described the ’90s border as “an open wound” through which drugs poured in.

“We have a lousy wall over here now,” he said.

Scott said the original wall allowed for a large driver of San Diego’s local economy — an outlet mall — to flourish because people felt safe moving into nearby homes.

“They reestablished law and order in San Diego when they put up a wall. ... Say what you want, this is life,” Trump said. “And a part of San Diego needs a wall. They want a wall very desperately.”

The president noted that the prototypes with rounded tops were harder to climb.

“The larger it is, the better it is,” he said before likening people who climb the wall to “professional mountain climbers.”

Asked his opinion of Gov. Jerry Brown’s critiques calling a new wall a waste of money, Trump said Brown has “done a very poor job of running California.” He pointed to “criminals living in sanctuary cities” as proof.

The governor “has not done the job,” he said.

On the Mexican side of the fence, near the slats numbered 17620 and 17619, protesters held neon signs and decried building another wall.

From a distance, their chants of “we don’t want the wall!” sounded more like muffled cries.

Share via

Trump has arrived in Los Angeles. Here’s what happens next

(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles welcomed President Trump with a light rain, along with a smattering of protesters who extended middle fingers in the air. The president, beginning the second portion of a jampacked day, held a large black umbrella as he walked down the steps of Air Force One at LAX. He flew via helicopter to Santa Monica.

From there, Trump took a motorcade to a private residence in Beverly Park, where he’ll attend a private fundraising dinner with 90 donors expected to raise $5 million for his reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee.

The motorcade snarled traffic and agitated residents.

The White House said after the roundtable discussion and fundraiser, the president will head to where he will stay overnight.

MORE PHOTOS: President’s first trip to California

Trump is scheduled to arrive where he’s staying at 8:25 p.m. Officials have not released any information about his overnight accommodations, but it’s all but certain he will be in downtown Los Angeles.

Building officials with the Wilshire Grand Center, which is the tallest building in L.A. and highest west of the Mississippi River, sent an email last week to tenants telling them about a high-profile visitor coming to the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel.

The message, obtained by The Times, noted a “VIP/high security visitor” and said the hotel’s VIP guest would spark security measures including metal detectors in the hotel lobby. The security “will have a significant impact in and around the building,” officials wrote.

The email detailed forced valet parking, street closures around the Wilshire Grand for two blocks and limited pedestrian traffic. It warned of traffic congestion, which materialized all day.

The barricades disrupted daily downtown life Tuesday.

Trump is scheduled to arrive in St. Louis by 11:25 a.m. on Wednesday, so if he is staying downtown, chances are he’ll be heading back to LAX bright and early.

Share via

‘We don’t want the wall!’ Protesters shout from other side of the border

A Trump protester hangs a banner on the Mexico side of the border.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

As President Trump toured border wall prototypes, protesters in Tijuana a few yards away chanted and held signs expressing opposition to the wall. Many of them were people who had been deported from the U.S. in recent years, including veterans.

“We just want a few minutes with the president. He’s our commander in chief,” said Hector Lopez, a former resident of Madera who served six years in the U.S. Army reserve.

Joined by other veterans carrying signs — one reading “Stop deporting military veterans” — Lopez urged Trump to sign an executive order to fix the system.

“It’s not just an immigration issue; it’s a veterans’ issue. With one swipe of his pen we could go home right now,” he said.

Anti-Trump protestors demonstrate on the Mexico side of the border.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Security forces kept close watch on the largely peaceful gathering in the ramshackle Rancho Escondido neighborhood. U.S. snipers scanned the crowd with binoculars. A Customs and Border Protection helicopter hovered overhead. And a line of Mexican Federal police kept protesters off the border fence.

Though the view of the president was blocked by a row of semi-trailers, the protesters tried their best to be heard.

“We don’t want the wall,” they yelled when word spread that Trump had arrived at the site.

“We’re not the enemy,” said Sergio Tamai, the longtime activist leader of Angels Without Borders, which advocates for deportees from the U.S. “We’re here to remind him that we’re workers, not criminals.”

Share via

Trump wonders if ‘Space Force’ could be next for military

Donald Trump addressed members of the military at Miramar, suggesting jokingly that the military needs at “Space Force.”

Does the military need another branch? President Trump suggested on Tuesday – partially in jest – that there’s a whole frontier waiting for armed patrol.

“Space is a war-fighting domain. Just like the land, air and sea,” he told members of the military at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego before adding that perhaps a “Space Force” would be next.

“We have the Air Force. We’ll have the Space Force. We have the Army, the Navy.”

Trump said initially he was “not really serious,” but on second thought, decided it could be a good idea. Whether or not a “Space Force” will ever be an American reality, it didn’t take long for Twitter to light up with memes.

Share via

Trump concludes tour of wall prototypes by calling ‘sanctuary’ cities ‘deadly loopholes’

Surrounded by Border Patrol officials and members of the Department of Homeland Security, Trump concluded his wall prototype tour Tuesday by saying “we must enforce our laws and protect our people.”

“Everyday, criminals and terrorists try to infiltrate our country,” he told reporters. “The border wall is truly our first line of defense.... It will save thousands and thousands of lives.”

The wall will also save “hundreds of billions of dollars,” he said.

In addition to building a new wall, cooperation with Mexico is a crucial element of border security, he said.

He called Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto a “wonderful guy” who he is trying to “work things out with.”

“Don’t know if that’s going to happen,” Trump added.

The president again lambasted so-called sanctuary cities. The country must close the “deadly loopholes” that allow criminals in, and confront jurisdictions with sanctuary policies, he said.

Trump argued such cities are “the best friend of the criminal” and are “protecting a horrible group of people in many cases.” Smugglers and gang members take refuge there, he said.

As he drove off in a motorcade, he flashed a thumbs-up through a window.

Share via

Trump protesters at San Ysidro church show solidarity with immigrants: ‘Jesus said we should love our neighbor’

Dozens gathered in a hilltop parking lot a few miles north of the border Tuesday afternoon at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in San Ysidro to protest President Trump and his border wall, their view stretching into Tijuana.

Fifteen people held signs with giant letters that spelled, “BRIDGES NOT WALLS.”

Another protester hoisted a sign that read, “Stormy Daniels has a higher approval rating.”

When someone announced that Air Force One had landed in San Diego, the crowd booed. “Go home!” a man shouted.

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego), the area’s congressional representative, told the crowd, “This president — he ain’t my president! ... He’s violated the Constitution. He colluded with Russia.… He’s done all sorts of terrible things to women.”

Speakers repeatedly quoted the biblical verse Leviticus 19:33, which says: “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you.”

Peter Sickels, a retired Episcopalian priest from Ramona, held a 15-foot pole topped by a Mexican flag. He said he hoped people in Tijuana would see it as symbol of solidarity and friendship.

Sickels said he had Mexican friends and was embarrassed he didn’t speak Spanish so he could better know his neighbors.

“Jesus said we should love our neighbor,” he said.

Sickels said the talk of the wall was xenophobic. Besides, he said, San Diego already has had a border fence for years.

Sickels stood with the Rev. Colin Mathewson, a priest at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in San Diego.

Mathewson said the San Diego border barrier only pushed crossings east, into more dangerous mountain areas.

“It’s sad because there’s a reason people are coming from Mexico,” he said. “The border wall isn’t going to stop them.”

Jesus himself was a refugee, he added.

Referring to Trump’s first visit to the state as president, Mathewson said, “He’s nervous today, being in California.”

Susan Hicks, 41, of San Diego held a sign with a proposed tweet: “Trump is the dumbest president. Everyone knows that. :( #SAD.”

“We’re here to protest the president and his policies and his bad hairdo,” she said. “I’m glad his cowardly ass finally showed up.”

Ron McCullough, 40, of San Diego said Trump is “all tweet and no substance.”

“We’re great because of immigrants,” he said. “He should know. Two of his three wives are.”

Angelica Godinez, 42, of San Diego called the fact that it took more than a year in office for Trump to visit California — and the president’s time spent looking at wall prototypes — a “slap in the face” to citizens.

“That is disrespectful to the people that vote, to the citizens of the United States of America,” she said. “California is a model, and I believe that he’s intimidated by that.”

Share via

Watch: Trump’s speech to Marine Corps in San Diego

President Trump speaks to military personnel at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

Share via

Protesters gather in Santa Monica to wait for Trump’s motorcade

A group of police officers stood watch in Santa Monica on Tuesday afternoon as a handful of protesters, many of them retirees, patiently waited for the president’s motorcade to pass.

Soon after 2:15 p.m. three military helicopters flew overhead toward Santa Monica airport, followed by two more that protesters believed President Trump was flying in, prompting them to hold their protest signs in the air.

Dianne Corriere, 68, stood near the curb of Sunset Park Way and Centinela Avenue holding a sign that read “Impeach Trump.” Nearby, another large sign reading “Trump is a turd” had been plastered on the side of a restaurant.

Corriere, a Playa del Rey resident, said she wasn’t politically active until Trump became president.

“I’ve been protesting him for over a year,” she said. “And I’m not going to stop.”

Leslie Brothers stood behind Corriere. The two didn’t know each before today but said they are now “sisters in spirit.”

Brothers is the founder of the Monkey Wrench Brigade, a Santa Monica-based activist group that formed to protest Trump’s presidency.

She helped organize today’s protest near the Santa Monica airport.

“We are here to tell him that he isn’t welcome in California.”

As a light drizzle fell, Gene Feingold, 38, bent down and wrote “traitor” on a white banner. Like some who came, Feingold was there to express his frustration.

“This is a small step, it gives me a chance to demonstrate my free speech rights,” he said.

But unlike some who said they came to demonstrate as a therapeutic measure, Feingold is holding on to his anger.

“I want to continue feeling angry, so I can continue protesting,” he said.

The Santa Monica resident said he left Ukraine when he was 9.

“I see so many similarities between Trump and what the Soviet Union was going through when I lived there,” he said.

As he finished speaking, Daniel Rodriguez, a Trump supporter, waved a banner with the president’s name. Rodriguez shouted at the protesters, asking them why Trump was a bad guy.

Some protesters shouted back while others began singing Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.”

Shortly before 4 p.m., Trump’s motorcade sped through the intersection of Bundy Drive and Ocean Park Boulevard. He was greeted by dozens of protesters shouting and waving signs. Some stood on balconies, their neon-colored banners visible a block away.

Will Kozicki was walking his two dogs when he spotted the demonstration and stopped to observe.

“I prefer Trump was playing golf somewhere rather than coming here,” he said.

Kozicki, who works in finance, said he supports the protesters who came out in the rain.

“I’m psyched to feel their energy.”

5:43 p.m. This article was updated with additional quotes from demonstrators and residents.

This article was originally published at 2:59 p.m.

Share via

Trump supporters and protesters outnumbered by law enforcement as they greet president’s motorcade

Trump’s motorcade arrives.

Hundreds of officers from the San Diego Police Department and California Highway Patrol along with San Diego County sheriff’s deputies blocked either side of the street in the Otay Mesa neighborhood Tuesday, holding batons and separating President Trump’s supporters from his opponents.

Law enforcement outnumbered protesters as Trump’s motorcade drove by. Some people greeted the president with middle fingers, while others shouted, “Keep America great!”

“God bless you, Donald Trump,” one supporter said. “Thank you for coming.”

Less than two minutes later, the caravan of black SUVs and police motorcycles was gone.

Manny Aguilar, 57, wore a shirt that said, “Do I look undocumented?”

He argued with Trump supporters across the street.

“We didn’t cross the border; the border crossed us,” he told them.

Aguilar said he came to the U.S. illegally in 1979 but attained legal residency through a family member 10 years later. He served in the Army and now works supervising movie sets in Los Angeles, he said.

“I want Mr. Trump to know that I’ve been a good ambassador for this country,” he said. “We’re not all bad people.”

Share via

‘Bridges are still better than walls,’ says Gov. Jerry Brown in a tweet jabbing back at Trump

Share via

Trump fundraiser to be held at Beverly Park home of Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Edward Glazer

Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Edward Glazer, right, and his daughter at an NFL game in Tampa, Fla., in 2016.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Edward Glazer, right, and his daughter at an NFL game in Tampa, Fla., in 2016.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press)

A fundraiser President Trump is headlining Tuesday night will take place at the Beverly Park mansion of Shari and Edward Glazer, co-chairman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to a source familiar with security arrangements for the event.

Donors are contributing up to $250,000 each to attend the dinner, with the funds benefiting Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and various Republican National Committee accounts. The fundraising goal for the event is $5 million.

Glazer, 48, is the son of the late billionaire Malcolm Glazer. In addition to the Bucs, his family owns the Manchester United soccer team. Glazer is also president of First Allied Corp., the family’s real estate company.

Glazer donated $98,000 to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and $250,000 to his inauguration. But he has also supported Democrats. In 2016, he gave $5,400 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on the same day he donated $33,400 to the Republican National Committee.

Protesters who hoped to rally outside the fundraiser will not be able to get close to the event in Beverly Park, a gated community east of the Beverly Glen neighborhood. Current and former residents of the community include media magnates Sumner Redstone and Haim Saban, and celebrities Denzel Washington, Sylvester Stallone and Rod Stewart. The community is part of the city of Los Angeles, but carries Beverly Hills’ 90210 ZIP code.

The Glazers’ $22.7-million, 19,313-square foot home was built in 2010, with eight bedrooms and 11 bathrooms on nearly three acres.

Share via

Trump: Gov. Brown is ‘doing a terrible job running the state of California’

President Trump seemed to confirm Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent complaint that the president is “going to war against” the state, telling reporters during his first visit that Brown is “doing a terrible job.”

“Gov. Brown’s done a very poor job running California,” Trump said while inspecting border wall prototypes in San Diego. “They have the highest taxes in the United States. The place is totally out of control.”

He noted that he owns property in the state. “The taxes are way, way out of whack and people are going to start to move pretty soon.”

Trump spoke at length with border agents as he looked at samples of wall types and stated his preference for a “see-through” version as he stood beside a prototype that was not transparent.

“The problem is you have to have see through. You have to know what’s on the other side of the wall,” Trump said. “You could be two feet away from a criminal cartel and you don’t even know they’re there.”

The president insisted that California political leaders actually want walls, despite what they say in opposition. “The state of California is begging us to build walls in certain areas. They don’t tell you that,” he said.

Trump also held up drawings of wall renderings and discussed progress in immigration enforcement since the 1990s, when current barriers were erected in the area. Prior to that time, he said, “It was an open wound, frankly.”

“They reestablished law and order when they put up a wall in San Diego,” Trump said, citing comments made by the border agent who led his tour. “You hear it, folks. Say what you want. These are the facts of life.”

President Trump comments on the job Gov. Brown has done in California.

Share via

Watch Trump’s remarks from the border: ‘The state of California is begging us to build walls in certain areas’

“The state of California is begging us to build walls in certain areas. They don’t tell you that,” Donald Trump says while touring wall prototypes near San Diego.

Share via

A primer for California visitors: the wall, the border and the state of immigration

An aerial view shows seven of the eight entries in the competition to build President Trump's border wall
(John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Nearly 2,000 miles of rivers, desert, chaparral and fencing separate the United States and Mexico, and a wall advocated by President Trump could soon be built along some parts of the border.

However, for the many people who live binational lives, the border is more of filter than a definitive line.

During this time of national focus on immigration and border issues, the San Diego Union-Tribune has recorded life on the border to highlight its struggles, transformations and beauty.

Read More

Share via

Trump protesters cheer immigrants as they enter the U.S. through San Ysidro Port of Entry

Trump opponents cheered for immigrants as they entered the country through San Ysidro.

At a rally near Las Americas Premium Outlets, a few dozen protesters gathered on a street corner Tuesday in opposition to President Trump’s visit to California.

Judith Castro, 27, took the day off work as a teacher aide to protest Trump. Castro said she captured video last week of Border Patrol agents arresting a mother in front of her daughters in National City.

Born and raised in San Diego, Castro said her parents were deported in 2006 and 2007 and now live in Tijuana. She doesn’t want a bigger wall separating them.

“Why are we allowing this here?” she said. “[Trump] is in power, and let me tell you something, the people give him that power. We need to take it back.”

Jules Luna, 30, with the group Refuse Fascism, said people need to band together to remove Trump from office. It’ll take a revolution to do so, he said.

“This wall is a symbol of hatred and a monument to white supremacy in this country,” he said. “We need to eradicate it.”

The protesters marched down the street to the San Ysidro Port of Entry. One lone Trump supporter chanted, “Law and order,” as he marched alongside the others.

At the port of entry, Trump protesters welcomed people entering the country. Some smiled, while others looked confused.

“Donald Trump is not going to deter you,” said Mohamed Elnakib of San Diego Action United, who helped organize the protest. “Thank you for coming. Viva Mexicanos!”

They chanted that Border Patrol should be deported. Several agents recorded video of their own, while others stood watch.

The protesters drowned out Jose Moreno, a 66-year-old Trump supporter from Ventura, as he told them illegal immigration is wrong.

Moreno said he emigrated in 1979 from Mexico after waiting eight years. Wearing a red, white and blue Trump cap, he said he came to support his president.

“Get your documentation in order, and everybody is welcome,” he said.

Share via

‘Burn it!’: Trump supporters shout after Mexican flag falls from passing car

A small fracas broke out at the pro-Trump gathering in Otay Mesa on Tuesday after a protester dropped a Mexican flag from a car.

The flag was torn to shreds and a man in a Trump hat and shirt threatened to burn it.

“They burn our flag in our country, burn theirs in ours!” another man shouted.

Others in the crowd stopped the man from burning it and calmed him down, saying it sent the wrong message.

PHOTOS: Trump in California for first time as president

Share via

President Trump inspects border wall prototypes

Share via

Trump arrives in California without the usual lawmakers in tow

President Trump broke with standard practice Tuesday, flying to California without any lawmakers from the state.

Such trips are normally a perk, most often for lawmakers of the president’s political party, who get to ride on the prestigious Air Force One and enjoy access to the president as well as some local publicity.

Trump’s solo flight suggests the political risk he brings to state Republicans given his low popularity in California. Though aides aboard the plane, which landed at 11:23 a.m. PDT, said they knew of no visits Trump would have with local lawmakers, Rep. Duncan Hunter was spotted at the site where Trump will inspect prototypes for a southern border wall.

Many Republican candidates had indicated they would keep their distance.

Trump did not speak with reporters aboard the plane. He did speak by phone with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, hours after firing Tillerson by tweet, the secretary told reporters at the State Department, and with British Prime Minister Theresa May, about recent poisonings in Britain linked to Russia.

PHOTOS: Trump in California for first time as president

An administration official who briefed reporters during the flight on the condition of anonymity said Trump would make clear his opposition to new state laws providing so-called sanctuary to illegal immigrants, considering them threats to national security. Advocates counter that the state is protecting law-abiding residents, to maintain their willingness to cooperate with local law enforcement.

The official also made the case for building the border wall, which is costly and highly unpopular in the state, saying it “will save far more money than it will cost.”

He cited estimates that illegal immigration costs the country $100 billion a year through drug abuse, crime, education and social services. Many studies, however, show a positive economic impact from immigration, and minimal public cost because many who are in the country illegally pay taxes and avoid taking advantage of government services for fear of deportation.

Share via

Trump supporters pray for the president as they await his arrival

Border Patrol SUVs occasionally passed the pro-Trump gathering in a grass field half a mile from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The gathering opened with prayer. “I pray for a hedge of protection around them,” a woman said on behalf of Trump and his traveling staff.

Trevor Louden, a blogger and political activist from New Zealand, asked people, “Have you ever seen as much vitriol and hatred directed at a president in your lifetime?”

“No!” the crowd yelled back.

‪At 10:36 a.m., a police motorcycle passed and the crowd rushed to the road, thinking Trump’s motorcade was passing. “No way!” an excited man said. False alarm.‬

‪In the crowd, a man held a sign reading “Don’t believe the liberal media!”

A man wearing a red “Make America Great Again” cap had a pin on it that said “Fake CNN News.” Another man wore an Infowars T-shirt. Speakers railed against “political correctness.” ‬

‪Tim Donnelly, a former Republican California assemblyman and member of the Minuteman Project, said he was excited by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the Trump administration was suing California over its immigration laws. ‬

‪“I said it’s about time!” he said.‬

‪He was inspired by Trump coming to California to inspect the border wall prototypes. ‬

‪“That dude is not just the president. He’s a contractor. He’s gonna make sure it gets built right. No shortcuts.”‬

‪He said he wanted to see Oakland Mayor L‬ibby Schaaf, who alerted the public to impending ICE raids, behind bars. He led the crowd in chanting “Lock her up! Lock her up!”

“I would like to see Gov. Jerry Brown behind bars!” he said. He said Brown illegally made the state a sanctuary state for “criminal illegal aliens.”

“‪We have a front door,” he said. “And it has a doorbell. It’s called a visa. And then you get a green card.”‬

Share via

California attorney general mocks Trump’s proposed border wall as ‘medieval,’ suited only to ‘keep us safe from knights on horses’

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra
(Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press)

As President Trump headed for the San Diego area Tuesday to look at prototypes for a proposed border wall, state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra mocked the project at a news conference in Los Angeles, saying it would not make America safer.

Announcing the seizure of grenade launchers and assault weapons from several felons, Becerra called Tuesday on Trump and Congress to follow the state’s example on gun safety issues.

“While In D.C. they talk, in California we act,” Becerra said, adding that Trump “should follow California’s lead.”

Ten people were arrested in the state Department of Justice operation that also seized “ghost guns,” homemade firearms that are not registered with the state, Becerra said.

With Trump scheduled to touch down in the state Tuesday morning, Becerra also criticized the president’s proposal to build a wall at the border with Mexico.

“Some people think that medieval walls might keep us safe in this country,” Becerra told reporters, adding that a wall “might keep us safe from knights on horses.”

In California, the attorney general said, “it’s the men and women in law enforcement who patrol the streets every day who keep us safe.”

Becerra called it a “low blow” that the Trump administration has threatened to cut off grants to local law enforcement agencies in cities that have adopted sanctuary laws that restrict cooperation with federal immigration agents.

Share via

Trump’s California supporters hope to inspire other conservatives to come out from ‘behind enemy lines’

Trump fans gathered to show their support for the President on his first visit to California.

Dozens of Trump supporters gathered early Tuesday in Otay Mesa, about half a mile from the border, in chilly weather beneath cloudy skies.

“Build that wall! Build that wall!” they chanted. “Trump 2020! Trump 2020!”

They waved American flags and wore red Trump hats. Passing drivers honked and pointed their thumbs up outside their windows.

One man clutched a handmade sign that read, “Assimilate Assimilate Assimilate” in red, white and blue. A woman held a sign depicting bricks that read, “Build the damn wall!” The song “Born in the USA” blared from a loudspeaker.

Carolyn Hays of Redlands took a day off from work to come support Trump. She wore a red “Make America Great Again” cap and held up a sign shaped like a picket fence that read, “Secure our border.”

Hays, who’s involved with the Redlands Tea Party Patriots, said: “I love our president. I want a border wall. It’s time for action, not just talk.”

Hays said she has some acquaintances who have spoken at Tea Party meetings and others whose loved ones have been killed by people in the country illegally. She said those immigrants are bringing drugs and crime and that California has gone out of its way to protect them.

“I support our Constitution, and when the states do not follow the rules of the land, they should pay a price,” she said. “Any time illegals are protected and told to go hide and given every advantage to be protected, that’s wrong.”

“When people come into the country illegally, they’re taking their chances,” she said. Their protection, she said, is unfair to citizens and immigrants “who do it the right way.”

“I can sympathize with their dilemma, but you’ve got to look at both sides of the story,” she said.

Gregory Brittain, an attorney and member of the Redlands Tea Party Patriots, said he worries about the porousness of the border, saying “criminals, terrorist and illegal drugs can still come across.”

He put being a Trump supporter in California this way: “like waging guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines.”

“Probably even in California, most people would say, yes, we need to secure the border, though there may be some disagreement about what to do with the people who are already here,” he said.

He said he hopes the turnout of Trump supporters will inspire other conservatives in California.

“There are so many people out there who think, ‘There’s no one out there who thinks like I do.’ I hope this sends a message: ‘I can do this too.’”

A woman from Chino Hills, wearing a yellow sandwich board-style yellow stop sign that read “Stop illegal immigration,” said she’s a third-generation Californian and that there are “too many illegals here.” She declined to give her name but said her sons are “laborers, regular worker bees” and that undocumented people are “taking our jobs.”

“I just want the president to know we’re still strong,” she said. “….we’re still 4.5 million people in California who voted for him. Law and order is not a racist phrase. It’s an American phrase.”

Share via

Downtown L.A. road closures snarl traffic ahead of presidential visit

The gridlock in downtown Los Angeles was even worse than usual Tuesday morning as authorities blocked off key streets surrounding the Wilshire Grand Center ahead of President Trump’s visit to Southern California.

Video from the scene showed motorists navigating closures in the city’s heart.

The Wilshire Grand announced to its tenants and workers that a VIP or high-security visitor was expected at the hotel on Tuesday, which lines up with Trump’s first visit to the state since becoming president.

The center said that roads around the area would be closed for a two-block radius until 1 p.m. Wednesday, police said. That closure will include Figueroa Street between 8th and 6th streets, Wilshire Boulevard between Hope Street and Beaudry Avenue and 7th Street between Hope and Bixel streets.

Crews were using heavy equipment Tuesday morning to move concrete barriers into place while police blocked off intersections with their vehicles.

Share via

When presidents come to California: From FDR in his car in 1935 to JFK’s stop at the Hollywood Palladium

As President Trump arrives for his first visit to California as chief executive, we dipped into the photo archives to bring you a handful of memorable moments.

Read More

Share via

Trump is coming to California. Candidates from his party are avoiding him.

President Trump vowed earlier this year he’d stump for Republicans in competitive House races, saying he would spend “probably four or five days a week” helping GOP candidates get elected. On Tuesday, as he makes his first visit to California, a state with one of the largest numbers of seats in play, he might be hard-pressed to find some who will take him up on his offer.

A presidential visit in an election year often comes with an entourage of local officials and candidates hoping to catch a photo op or ride his coattails.

But in Southern California, a hotbed of the left’s resistance out West that could prove crucial in the midterms, many are staying away.

Read More

Share via

The congressman who represents the border area President Trump will visit won’t be there. Here’s why

U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas speaks at Chicano Park on Monday to denounce President Trump's visit to San Diego.
(John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune)

President Trump’s first stop in the Golden State on Tuesday will be to review prototypes of the border wall he wants to build, which have been erected in the Otay Mesa neighborhood of San Diego.

Although a presidential visit typically means a roster of state and local officials in tow, don’t expect the area’s congressional representative, Democrat Juan Vargas, to make an appearance.

Here are a few things to know about the three-term congressman and his turf, the 51st Congressional District:

— Surprise! Vargas is no fan of Trump. The former Jesuit missionary boycotted Trump’s inauguration, saying he would spend the time praying for the country and for Trump. “I don’t want to be a hypocrite and pretend like I have respect for him,” Vargas told The Times. He also skipped Trump’s first State of the Union address. On Monday, the eve of Trump’s visit, Vargas attended a protest at Chicano Park in the predominantly immigrant Barrio Logan enclave. (The park has long been a symbol of Latino activism and last year was the site of a clash between neighborhood activists and right-wing protesters.) “We have to show him when he gets here tomorrow, he’s not welcome,” Vargas said. “He would be welcome as our president if he stopped this racism… if he had a little decency.”

— This district is overwhelmingly Latino. More than 70% of residents in Vargas’ district are Hispanic or Latino. Two-thirds of the population is Mexican in heritage and more than a third of residents were born outside the United States. An estimated 9,100 residents in Vargas’ district are eligible for DACA; an estimated 5,100 are recipients of relief through the program.

— Vargas’s constituents are largely working class. One in five people in his district have incomes below the federal poverty line and only 14% of adults 25 and older have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.

— It’s a safe Democratic seat. Being a voice of the resistance is an asset here, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans three to one. Vargas won reelection in 2016 with 73% of the vote. Prior to serving in Congress, Vargas was a San Diego city councilman and state legislator.

Later in the afternoon, Trump will address members of the military at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, situated in Democratic Rep. Scott Peters’ 52nd Congressional District. Peters, who represents a swing district where Democrats hold a voter registration advantage of just four percentage points, has been in office since 2012. He’s facing half a dozen Republicans who are hoping to unseat him, but his race is among the least competitive on our ranking.

Share via

California Democrats in Congress says Trump’s increased immigration enforcement is ‘politically motivated’

Immigration agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7-Eleven store in Los Angeles on Jan. 10, 2018..
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

Democrats in California’s congressional delegation accused the Trump administration of “politically motivated” immigration enforcement in a letter sent to the White House Tuesday.

Increased indiscriminate arrests are keeping people from seeking healthcare, sending their kids to school or reporting crime to police, and are “compromising the civil rights and liberties of all Californians – regardless of citizenship or immigration status,” the letter states.

Nearly every Democrat in the California delegation signed onto a letter led by California Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein and Reps. Lou Correa of Santa Ana and Zoe Lofgren of San Jose.

“We urge you to stop your administration’s wholesale targeting of our state’s residents and public officials,” the letter states

The last two months have seen a marked increase of visible immigration enforcement efforts in California that have included raids at convenience stores and a threat of ending federal law enforcement grants for jurisdictions that don’t comply with requests to hold people who entered the country illegally.

Last week, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit over California’s new immigration laws that make it a crime for business owners to voluntarily help federal agents find and detain workers, prohibit local law enforcement from alerting immigration agents when detainees are released from custody, and create a state inspection program for federal immigration detention centers.

Share via

Flashback: Trump’s anti-trade talk during campaign made San Diego residents uneasy

As President Trump visits San Diego on Tuesday to examine border wall prototypes, it’s worth keeping in mind just how much the city’s economy is integrated with its southern neighbor, Mexico.

San Diegans traverse the border daily to go to work, to shop and to get medical care. They can even hail an Uber to take them from the city into Mexico.

In 2016, Trump’s protectionist campaign rhetoric rankled business interests on the border, seeing his anti-trade proposals as antithetical to their way of life.

“The fact is, this is a cross-border economy. That’s just the way it is,” said one leader of a local business group.

Read More

Share via

Intense security on both sides of border for Trump’s visit to wall prototypes

President Trump will arrive in San Diego County on Tuesday to survey the border wall prototypes he commissioned amid high security and expected protests.

Any demonstrators will be confined to a dirt lot in Otay Mesa that the County Sheriff’s Department has designated a temporary “free speech zone.” People are prohibited from carrying anything that could be used as a weapon, from slingshots and rocks to guns and knives. Glass containers are also banned.

U.S. and Mexican authorities appeared to be collaborating closely on security measures for the president’s visit. Members of the U.S. Secret Service have been in Tijuana in recent days to help plan Tuesday’s security operation, according to U.S. and Mexican sources.

Read More

Share via

Trump sets tone for the day with tweet criticizing California immigration policy

President Trump, on his way to San Diego to view border wall prototypes, had immigration on his mind Tuesday morning.

Trump’s displeasure with California’s “sanctuary state” law is no secret. Last week, his Department of Justice sued over three portions of the law, signed in 2017 in response to Trump’s stepped-up enforcement.

Share via

Trump’s complicated relationship with California, explained by his own tweets

President Trump, who lost to Hillary Clinton in California by more than 4 million votes, often has said unflattering things about the state.

He owns a golf course in Rancho Palos Verdes, held several campaign rallies across the state and has boasted about his Hollywood connections.

Good and bad, see what Trump has tweeted about California, its politicians, policies, sports and culture.

Read More

Share via

After a year of trading barbs with California, President Trump will soon land in the Golden State

The president is en route to enemy territory.

Air Force One will touch down at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego around 11:30 a.m., marking the first time President Trump has set foot in California since his 2016 election turned the state into something of a rogue province that has repeatedly clashed with his administration over immigration policy, the environment, marijuana legalization and tax reform.

President Trump is expected to review a prototype for a segment of his proposed border wall at the Otay Mesa crossing near San Diego on Tuesday morning before speaking at a Republican fundraiser in the Los Angeles area at night.

Read More

Share via

California state lawmaker wants to cut tax breaks for border wall builders

Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco)
Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco)
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

On the eve of President Trump’s first visit to California since he took office, a state lawmaker says he wants to deny state tax breaks to companies that contract or subcontract to build the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), who wields substantial influence in the creation of state tax policy as Assembly budget committee chairman, has been among the vocal opponents to the border wall, calling it counterproductive to the state’s economic growth and “a symbol of weakness and hate to the world.”

Read More

Share via

Trump boards Air Force One, now en route to California

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One for a trip to California to view border wall prototypes.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

President Trump is now en route to California on Air Force One, along with senior policy advisor Stephen Miller and Mick Mulvaney, acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, among others.

Trump fielded a few questions from reporters about his decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before leaving the White House.

Miller grew up in Southern California and graduated from Santa Monica High School, where he was known for his conservative viewpoints.

Air Force One departed shortly after Trump boarded the plane at 9:40 a.m. ET.

Share via

Trump heads to California for first visit as president, confronting the resistance movement on its home turf

President Trump set out to confront California’s resistance in person on Tuesday as both sides prepared for a fight over his signature issue, a southern border wall, and the immigration enforcement issues that attend it.

Trump’s first visit to the nation’s most populous state is expected to be brief — just one day — but long on symbolism. He plans to spend about an hour inspecting border wall prototypes built at his direction in San Diego, then speak at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and travel to a fundraiser in Beverly Hills that is expected to raise $5 million for the Republican National Committee.

Immigrant, labor and LGBTQ rights activists are planning to protest while Democratic lawmakers are competing to raise their own profiles by denouncing him loudest. Many Republican candidates are staying away, given Trump’s low popularity in the state.

Read More

Share via

Trump’s California schedule, hour by hour

President Trump is scheduled to arrive at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, beginning a whirlwind day that will end in Los Angeles.

Though much of his travel will be aboard the Marine One helicopter, the visit is still expected to snarl traffic.

Using a sketch of the itinerary released by the White House, here’s what we know:

12:20 p.m.: Arrives at the border wall prototypes location
12:25 p.m.: Inspects prototypes for his proposed border wall
1:15 p.m.: Departs the border wall prototypes location en route to the Brown Field Municipal Airport landing zone
1:35 p.m.: Departs Brown Field Municipal Airport landing zone en route to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
1:55 p.m.: Arrives at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
2:00 p.m.: Delivers remarks to members of the military at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
2:50 p.m.: Leaves San Diego
3:35 p.m.: Arrives at LAX
3:55 p.m.: Arrives at the Santa Monica landing zone
4:05 p.m.: Departs Santa Monica landing zone en route to a private residence
4:25 p.m.: Arrives at the private residence
6:30 p.m.: Participates in a roundtable with Republican National Committee supporters. (There are 90 expected attendees who gave a minimum of $35,000 and up to $250,000 to be at the event. The invitation lists the location as Beverly Hills, but the RNC has not released the address and will not allow members of the media to attend.)
8:05 p.m.: Departs the private residence en route to where he will stay overnight

The White House says Trump is to arrive where he’s staying at 8:25 p.m. Officials have not released any information about his overnight accommodations, but there is evidence he will be in downtown Los Angeles.

Building officials with the Wilshire Grand Center, which is the tallest building in L.A. and highest west of the Mississippi River, sent an email last week to tenants telling them about a high-profile visitor coming to the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel in the building.

The message, obtained by The Times, noted a “VIP/high security visitor” and said the hotel’s VIP guest would spark security measures including metal detectors in the hotel lobby. The security “will have a significant impact in and around the building,” officials wrote.

The email detailed forced valet parking, street closures around the Wilshire Grand for two blocks and limited pedestrian traffic. It warned of traffic congestion and said the Los Angeles Police Department is urging tenants in the building to work from home.

Trump is scheduled to arrive in St. Louis by 11:25 a.m. on Wednesday, so if he is staying downtown, chances are he’ll be heading back to LAX bright and early.

Share via

Newsom, Garcetti seize on Trump visit to raise profile

California elected officials eyeing higher office are seizing on President Trump’s visit to the state to increase their visibility.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a front-runner in the governor’s race, released an online animated video Tuesday morning castigating the president.

“It’s official: Donald Trump finally worked up the nerve to visit California, bringing his fear-of-everything agenda with him,” Newsom says in a voiceover in the 60-second video that features a caricature of Trump.

“Let’s get real. Donald Trump’s border wall is a monument to idiocy. A 1,900-mile waste of taxpayer money that — news flash — is impossible to complete,” he says.

Trump is scheduled to land in California on Tuesday to inspect prototypes of his proposed border wall, address members of the military and raise money at a high-dollar fundraiser in the Beverly Hills area.

The Trump administration and California’s Democratic leaders have been at war over immigration policy, with the Justice Department suing the state last week over efforts to protect people who are in the country illegally.

On Monday evening, federal officials lashed out at the state’s leaders, telling reporters that Gov. Jerry Brown and other California Democrats were interfering as federal immigration officers try to protect law-abiding citizens, including immigrants, from criminals.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is considering a run for president in 2020, used Trump’s visit to launch ads by his recently formed political action committee aimed at flipping California congressional districts held by Republicans.

“Donald Trump is coming to California, and there’s one thing you need to know: California Republicans and Donald Trump are like peas in a pod,” Garcetti wrote in a fundraising email to supporters.

“GOP members of Congress and candidates might pretend they’re different now that they see their careers on the line, but we all know the truth.”

The Democratic Midterm Victory Fund planned to launch digital ads against seven GOP members of Congress, tying them to Trump’s policies on immigration, the environment and healthcare.

Newsom’s video criticizes Trump’s immigration policy as an image shows the president’s “Make America Great Again” slogan reimagined as “Make American White Again.”

“We can’t let this small, scared bully hurt our economy by terrorizing innocent people,” he says. “Together, let’s keep pushing his hate out of our state.”

Share via

Will Obamajam become Trumpjam? Trump’s visit has L.A. commuters nervous

Will Trumpjam replace Obamajam?

A presidential visit to Southern California can strike fear into the heart of even the most traffic-hardened Angelenos, who know too well that detours and closures for a White House motorcade can turn rush hour into chaos on the Westside.

Former President Obama’s frequent visits to Southern California created traffic tie-ups so ugly, they earned their own moniker.

Read More

Share via

LAPD ‘prepared for anything’ as Trump comes to Southern California on first trip as president

Law enforcement officials are bracing for multiple protests Tuesday as President Trump swings through Southern California, but the extent of demonstrations remains a wildcard.

Trump has a famously antagonistic relationship with California, clashing on issues such as immigration, climate change and women’s rights. The state has become the epicenter of the “resistance” with several huge demonstrations since he took office.

Authorities in San Diego and Los Angeles said they are not sure what to expect when Trump visits California for the first time in his presidency, but are preparing for whatever comes.

Read More

Share via

If Trump really wants to fix our border problems, he should visit the sewage pools, not his silly walls

On Sunday, I stood at the end of a barren cul-de-sac overlooking a field on the U.S. side of the border, staring toward Mexico.

President Trump’s border wall prototypes were off in the distance, about a mile away. This area — the ironically named “Free Speech Zone” — was as close as the public can get to the prototypes. (If you are on the Mexican side of the border, however, you can get a lot closer.) In anticipation of protests, temporary signs were posted on street poles, prohibiting the possession of firearms, daggers, slingshots, sticks, bats, pepper spray and other “implements of riots.”

The 30-foot-tall segments stood out, like Cadillacs stuck in the desert floor. One day, perhaps they will be a reminder of a particularly hysterical American political moment: Trump’s Folly.

Read More

Share via

Protesters on eve of Trump’s visit: ‘You want to mess with California? Well, bring it on’

California Senate leader Kevin de Leon leads a rally in Beverly Hills on Monday.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Immigrant, labor and LGBTQ rights activists said President Trump represented the antithesis of California’s values and was not welcome in the state, as they rallied Monday on the eve of his first presidential visit.

“We welcomed all the presidents that have come before him to this great state, but what we will not welcome are seeds of division and hate. What we will not welcome is racism,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. “We have a president who has decided to advance a racist agenda that denies people their most basic human dignity and rights, and we are not about that in California.”

Trump is scheduled to view prototypes of his proposed border wall, address members of the military and headline a high-dollar fundraiser in Beverly Hills. He is expected to leave Wednesday.

When he was a candidate, Trump’s visits to the state were frequently greeted with protests. Activists are organizing demonstrations to greet the president on Tuesday, but the locations Trump is visiting are difficult to reach or not being disclosed.

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León speaks a rally in Beverly Hills on the eve of President Trump’s visit. (Video by Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

So scores of protesters held a rush-hour rally Monday at a park on Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of Beverly Hills, carrying banners with pictures of clenched fists that said “Migrant Resistance.” Others carried signs that read “Our CA Values Trump Hate” and “Nobody Likes You (President) Stephen Miller!” as they chanted, “The people united will never be divided.” Korean Americans pounded drums to open the rally. State Treasurer John Chiang and state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León were among the attendees.

“Don’t just visit Beverly Hills or your little wall prototypes. Take the time to see and learn about the greatest state in the nation,” De León said, offering to take Trump on a tour of Los Angeles’ ethnic neighborhoods, ending with a stop at his favorite taco stand in Lincoln Heights “to see if [Trump] can handle the heat…. Because whether you like it or not, California is the future of America.”

Much of the anger was aimed at Trump’s immigration policies, and the uncertainty surrounding “Dreamers,” young people who were brought into the country illegally when they were children. Two Dreamers spoke publicly during the rally.

“Trump, I have a message for you that I want you to hear loud and clear. My mother and I are not red meat for your base,” said Yamilex Rustrian, a woman in her early 20s who was brought to this country as a child after her father was killed in Guatemala. “You want to mess with California? Well, bring it on. We are ready.”

Share via