Visiting California, Trump says Gov. Jerry Brown is doing a 'terrible job'

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But upon hearing that he'll travel by helicopter from the Miramar base to the border, organizers of Women's March San Diego announced plans to erect a large sign urging Trump to "build bridges, not walls" with the hope that he'll be able to see it while landing at the nearby prototype site.

It was something that Donald Trump always said he would do if he became president of the United States, and it looks like it is finally going to happen.

Trump's solo flight suggests the political risk he brings to state Republicans given his low popularity in California.

The president told reporters that he preferred prototypes that had some "see-through capability" so that Border Patrol agents could see what, and who, was on the other side. Many of them were criminals with criminal histories and are very unsafe people.

"I even think they'll try to cross with those pole vaults that they use in the Olympics", he said as he awaited Trump's visit.

Trump will visit eight towering prototypes for the wall before addressing Marines, also in San Diego, and attending a fundraiser in Los Angeles.

"We have a lousy wall over here now, but at least it stops 90, 95 per cent", Trump said. Protests for and against the wall are planned.

"According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the $18 billion wall will pay for itself by curbing the importation of crime, drugs and illegal immigrants who tend to go on the federal dole", Trump tweeted.

The issue has led to heightened tensions between California and the Trump administration.

"He's coming to a place that he hasn't visited as president, where he is massively unpopular, where he lost by 4m votes in the election and a place where he faces huge resistance".

Brown invited Trump to visit the Central Valley and see bridges and viaducts being built for a proposed north-south high-speed rail line.

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Earlier, about 250 Trump supporters rallied near San Diego's Otay Mesa border crossing.

President Donald Trump's motorcade Tuesday zipped past demonstrators who both jeered and cheered him and his plans for a "big handsome border wall" after he inspected prototypes.

Trump's visit comes just days after his Justice Department sued to block California laws created to protect people living in the USA illegally.

Congress has yet to approve the funding amid skepticism and Democratic opposition, but an administration official said the wall would save far more money than it cost.

On the Mexican side, federal police had to persuade around 50 demonstrators not to burn a yellow-haired pinata in Trump's likeness.

The Justice Department last week sued to block a trio of California laws created to protect people living in the USA illegally.

Protests are also planned across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, as Trump examines the 30-foot-tall prototypes created to fulfill his signature campaign promise.

"I have a great relationship with the president of Mexico, wonderful guy Enrique", Trump said.

Jeff Schwilk, founder of San Diegans for Secure Borders, whose group participated in a rally in December near the prototypes that ended in clashes with counter-protesters, said the council's resolution does not reflect the views of many residents who feel the border is not secure.

"We absolutely want President Trump to feel welcome and to come inspect the prototypes so we can get the wall built", he said. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, and ACLU and labor leaders. He also will meet with border agents and officers to ask what they need, Homeland Security spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.

Trump, met by dozens of protesters as he arrived in Southern California, spoke with officials about the benefits of a wall along the border with Mexico, one of his signature campaign promises. "It's something that he's going to continue to push for".

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