White House slams California's sanctuary city policy ahead of Trump visit

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Jerry Brown on Monday formally invited the president to visit high speed rail construction in the Central Valley, saying the state is more interested in building "bridges, not walls".

Trump is coming at a time of tense relations between California and the federal government, which has sued the state over its policy of not cooperating with USA immigration authorities seeking to detain undocumented immigrants. California voters supported Hillary Clinton by a almost 2-to-1 margin in 2016.

On Tuesday, Trump will make his first visit to California as president where he'll view prototypes of his border wall with Mexico. It's not unusual for presidents of both parties to come to California and combine fundraising events with official business.

He is expected to wrap up his day in Los Angeles with a fundraiser later in the evening. But emphasizing that with a visit could inspire his political base, here and elsewhere.

Protesters marched and held rallies today ahead of President Donald Trump's first official visit to California. Dwight D. Eisenhower is the last president to not travel to the state during his inaugural year.

Ahead of the visit, a few dozen people gathered for a pro-Trump rally on the USA side of the border near the prototypes, while a similar number of the president's detractors came to the San Ysidro border post.

Other protests were planned later in Tijuana and San Diego to mark Trump's first presidential visit to California, where he examined eight nine-metre-tall prototypes built past year along the border in a bid to fulfil his signature campaign promise.

Later Tuesday, the president was set to deliver a speech at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar before flying to Los Angeles and attending a Republican fundraiser at a private residence.

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Additionally, there are Becerra suits and filings against the Trump administration's efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and to end or modify existing regulations governing the environment, education and commercial use of the Internet.

"It's all Kabuki, and it's bad Kabuki at that", said Bill Whalen, a research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institute, adding that if Brown really wanted to sit down with Trump, he could have met him on the tarmac in San Diego.

Is he golfing in California?

He sued to block Trump from ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children from deportation.

Trump's relationship with California has been rocky from the start. Trump has insisted Mexico pay for the wall. Hillary Clinton ultimately beat Trump in California by more than four million votes.

Under the 10th Amendment, the federal government can not force states or localities to participate in a federal program. Lawmakers in the rest of the country who similarly adopt pro-immigrant policies should rest easy - Attorney General Sessions is on weak legal ground. Brown deviated from his usual measured tone to call Sessions' visit "a political stunt" and proclaim that Washington is "basically going to war against the state of California, the engine of the American economy."

Besides the border wall, California has unleashed fierce attacks at the federal government for its stances on climate change and offshore drilling. "It is devastating communities well within the interior of the United States", said Andrea Guerrero, the executive director of Alliance San Diego, a coalition of immigrant advocates.

A larger "Trump Not Welcome in L.A." rally is being planned for Beverly Gardens Park, possibly on Trump's drive-by route.

Other protests are planned in Otay Mesa on Tuesday morning.