Skip to main content

Trump’s Planned Visit To San Diego Draws Supporters, Protesters and Tight Security

Border wall prototypes on display in San Diego, where contractors offer diffe...

Photo by Elliott Spagat AP

Above: Border wall prototypes on display in San Diego, where contractors offer different designs.

Trump's Planned Visit To San Diego Draws Supporters, Protesters and Tight Security

GUEST:

Jean Guerrero, fronteras reporter, KPBS

Transcript

Part 1 Aired 3/12/2018
Security preparations are underway for President Donald Trump's expected to visit San Diego on Tuesday, when he will inspect eight prototypes for his proposed border wall.

Part 2 Aired 3/13/2018
Among the speakers was Congressman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego), who promised to fight to get Trump impeached.

Part 3 Aired 3/14/2018
A few dozen San Diego residents who oppose President Trump’s border wall held a rally Monday at Chicano Park ahead of his visit to see the border wall prototypes.

President Trump speaks to troops at the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar.

Protesters rally at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in San Ysidro.

UPDATE: 3:15 P.M., March 12, 2018

A few dozen San Diego residents who oppose President Trump’s border wall held a rally Monday at Chicano Park ahead of his visit to see the border wall prototypes.

Among the speakers was Congressman Juan Vargas,D-San Diego, who promised to fight to get Trump impeached.

“Trump is not welcome here!" Vargas shouted, to cheers. "He would be welcome as our president if he stopped his racism. If he stopped pitting people once and for all against each other. If he acted like a president. If he had a little decency. He has none of that so he’s not welcome here!”

Other speakers said Trump's wall is an expensive symbol of hate and that the existing wall is ineffective, because instead of stopping illegal immigration, it has pushed it into dangerous areas where people have died by the hundreds each year.

Ali Torabi is a recipient of DACA, a temporary protected status program that Trump is trying to eliminate. He was brought to the U.S. illegally from Iran when he was a boy. He said the wall promotes racism against him.

“I take a stand today to let this president know that my people have value ... you cannot vilify us," he said. "This thing you're trying to construct is not only harmful and unaccountable in terms of the economics, but it's harmful and unaccountable in terms of human life."

Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a video entitled, "Walls Work." The three-minute video says the current barrier in the San Diego sector led to an 87 percent reduction in apprehensions of those crossing the border illegally, from 560,000 in 1992 to 68,000 in 2010.

RELATED: America's Wall: Decades-Long Struggle To Secure US-Mexico Border

Original Story

Large crowds of supporters and protesters are planning to greet President Trump in San Diego on Tuesday when he takes a firsthand look at eight, 30-foot tall border wall prototypes.

The border wall has been a signature issue for Trump in his determination to stop illegal immigration. His visit comes amid an escalating legal battle over federal immigration policies and a series of immigration arrests in San Diego and across the state. The Justice Department sued California on Tuesday over its so-called sanctuary laws.

Ahead of Trump’s visit, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has announced restrictions near the area of the prototypes. The agency is banning any items that can be used as a weapon during a fight or riot, including firearms, knives, pepper spray, rocks, baseball bats and glass bottles.

Two rallies are scheduled on Monday ahead of Trump's visit. The first, scheduled for 11 a.m. at Chicano Park, is organized by several activist groups, including Alliance San Diego, the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, American Friends Service Committee and Unite Here Local 30, a union representing hotel workers. Organizers said the rally will show that San Diegans are united against the "wasteful, harmful and irresponsible'' plan to build the wall, according to a news release about the event.

A second protest on Monday, organized by Union del Barrio, will take place outside the downtown Federal Building at 880 Front St. at 5 p.m.

More demonstrations on both sides are in the works for Tuesday. A group of Trump supporters, including San Diegans for Secure Borders, San Diego Patriots and the Remembrance Project, is organizing a rally at 10 a.m. near the border wall prototypes at 10200 Enrico Fermi Dr.

Activist group Nuevo Movimento is planning a 9 a.m. protest near the prototypes to denounce the wall. "We, the people of all races, ethnicities, backgrounds, immigration statuses, and orientations will come together at Otay Mesa, as close to the walls and to Trump as possible, and speak out against his racist regime," the group stated on its Facebook page.

Another activist group called Indivisible San Diego will protest the wall on Tuesday in an event titled "Taxpayers Resist Trump's Wall," at 9:30 a.m. outside of the IRS building located at the corner of F and Front streets.

The last time Trump was in San Diego was during a campaign rally in May 2016. Police in riot gear dispersed a crowd of 1,000 demonstrators, some who were hurling bottles and rocks. Three dozen arrests were made.

Following the border visit, the president will speak to troops at MCAS Miramar before heading to a Republican National Committee fundraiser in Los Angeles.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.