California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, is claiming to have the moral high ground in his opposition to President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall along the United States’ southern border.
In an interview Sunday with NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Brown told host Chuck Todd that building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is not the “Christian thing” to do because those living here illegally are “children of God, they should be treated that way.”
Brown described the border wall as “ominous,” saying it “reminds me too much of the Berlin Wall.”
“When I see that 30-foot wall, I worry somehow are they trying to keep me in, or keep them out?” he said. “I really think people ought to be careful because there’s a lot of odor here of kind of a strongman, kind of a world where you want the ultimate leader here to be doing all this stuff.”
Asked how his state would respond to the wall, Brown replied, "We’re not going to sit around and just play patsy and say, ‘Hey, go ahead. Lock us in. Do whatever the hell you want.' ... No, we’re going to fight, and we’re going to fight very hard.”
The California governor went on to say his state plans to be “strategic” in the fights it picks with the Trump administration, adding that he’ll “do the right human — and I would even say Christian — thing, from my point of view.”
“Trump’s supposed to be ‘Mr. Religious Fellow,’ and I thought we’ve got to treat ‘the least of these’ as we would treat the Lord,” Brown said. “So I hope he would reconnect with some of these conservative evangelicals, and they’ll tell him that these are human beings, they’re children of God.”
In San Diego, there already exists a 14-mile fence built in the 1990s. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) wrote in a Fox News op-ed in January that the barrier “consists of two layers of fencing, separated by a high-speed border patrol road and equipped with all the bells and whistles to give the Border Patrol every advantage to respond to illegal crossings.”
“In short order,’ he wrote, “the San Diego border fence ceased drug vehicle drive-thrus and reduced the smuggling of people and narcotics by 90 percent.”
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, San Diego is one of the most fortified areas in the country, with 46 miles of primary fencing and 14 miles — the stretch Hunter described — with secondary fencing.
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Reform, which supports immigration restrictions, described the barrier at the San Diego-Mexico border as “very good and very effective,” though she said some of it needs to be modernized.
And in addition to legal battles with the White House, some California lawmakers want to make life difficult for any companies that contract with the federal government to build Trump’s proposed border wall. Liberal legislators at the statehouse and in major cities across California have proposed laws that would bar their local governments from hiring firms that have done work on the border wall, Vice News reported.
One San Francisco ordinance takes it a step further, seeking to sever ties with any company that so much as bids on the project — even if it never actually wins the contract. The bill was introduced earlier this month by San Francisco City Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Aaron Peskin.
Ronen said on Twitter that the legislation is not simply a “symbolic protest” but a tangible effort to safeguard San Francisco’s “deepest values.”