SAN DIEGO — Donald Trump -- making his first trip to California as president -- warned Tuesday there would be “bedlam” without the controversial wall he wants to build on the border with Mexico, as he inspected several prototype barriers.
The trip to the “Golden State” -- the most populous in the country and a Democratic stronghold -- was largely upstaged by his own announcement that he had sacked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
On the other side of the border, a small group of anti-Trump protesters vented their frustration, and announced plans to boycott US businesses over the frontier.
“For the people who say ‘no wall’ -- if you didn’t have walls over here, you wouldn’t even have a country,” Trump said near the border in San Diego.
Trump repeated his insistence that law enforcement personnel should be able to see through the structure so that they could monitor criminal cartels that might be “two foot away” on the Mexican side.
“Without a wall there would be bedlam, I imagine,” he added.
Trump inspected eight 30-foot high (nine-meter) models made of concrete and steel, erected side-by-side at Otay Mesa, an area in southern San Diego along the border with Tijuana, Mexico.
Each prototype cost more than US$300,000 and, according to some estimates, the complete wall could carry a $20 billion price tag. — AFP