President Donald Trump visited the U.S.-Mexico border in California on Tuesday to see a number of border wall prototypes, and he shared his thoughts and preferences for the design and features of the wall.
Appearing with border security agents near San Diego, Trump spoke about the effectiveness of border walls and the role current walls have had in transforming border communities.
“For the people that say 'No wall,' if you didn't have walls over here, you wouldn't even have a country,” Trump said while standing in front of a series of prototype wall sections showing different designs.
“And by the way, the state of California is begging us to build walls in certain areas,” he added. “They don't tell you that. And we said, 'No, we won't do it until we build the whole wall.' But there are certain areas, as you know, where they are really wanting us to build a wall. Because the people are complaining, people are pouring in. So, you know, they don't talk about that.”
The president discussed important features of a border wall, including height, stability, and durability. Speaking with a border security officer, Trump stressed the importance of being able to see through the wall.
“The problem is, you have to have see-through,” he said. “You have to know what's on the other side of the wall,” adding that “you could be two feet away from a criminal cartel, and you don't even know they're there.”
Trump described the effect the current wall system has on local communities and reiterated his intent to improve the system. After discussing other features designed to impede would-be climbers, reporters asked Trump what he thought about Gov. Jerry Brown's policies in the state.
“I think Gov. Brown has done a very poor job running California,” he 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 ICE is going in to pick them up,” he added. “Many of them were criminals with criminal records and very dangerous people.”
The president's border wall proposal follows on campaign promises to secure the southern border and control immigration. But recent attempts to begin construction on the massive project have been complicated as debates stall in Congress on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and other immigration reforms.