UPDATE: 'Great relationship' with Mexico's leader

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — 1:20 p.m.

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

President Donald Trump says he has a "great relationship" with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Trump calls Pena Nieto a "wonderful guy" and says they're trying to work things out. Trump adds: "We'll see whether or not it happens."

Relations between the U.S. and Mexico have been deeply strained since Trump took office vowing to build a Southern border wall to stop illegal immigration. Trump insisted during his campaign and throughout his presidency that Mexico will pay for the wall. Mexico insists it will not pay.

Trump visited Pena Nieto in Mexico during the 2016 campaign. But Pena Nieto twice has canceled plans to meet Trump at the White House because of Trump's insistence that Mexico pay for the wall.

Trump commented Tuesday in San Diego after viewing prototypes for the border wall.


1:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is resuming his feud with the state of California, criticizing the governor, its immigrant protections and the state's tax system.

The president said Tuesday during a tour of prototypes of his border wall that he has property in California, but the taxes are out of control.

Trump's visit comes days after his Justice Department sued to block California laws designed to protect people living in the U.S. illegally. The president says the state's sanctuary policies are putting the country at risk.

Trump also offered criticism of Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. He says Brown is a "nice guy" but "has not done the job." He says taxes in California "are double and triple what they should be."

Trump lost the state to Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.


12:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is inspecting prototypes on display in California for his stalled border wall.

Trump was briefed on eight towering prototypes Tuesday, including one with blue steel on top. He asked which of the models are the hardest to climb. He also said certain parts of California are desperate for a wall to break the flow of illegal immigration.

Said Trump: "If you didn't have walls over here you wouldn't even have a country."

Trump also says that "they re-established law and order in San Diego" with a wall.

Eight 30-foot-tall (9-meter-tall) prototypes have been erected near the Mexican border to serve as models for the wall Trump wants to build.


12:35 p.m.

The Senate's top Democrat says he's "not drawing red lines in the sand" against President Donald Trump's long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as he negotiates with the White House and Republicans controlling Congress on a $1.3 trillion spending bill.

Sen. Chuck Schumer made the comments Tuesday as Trump traveled to San Diego to inspect prototypes of the wall.

Trump has requested $1.6 billion for wall construction in the catch-all measure, but that money would go for older designs.

Schumer says the wall would be "ineffectual and expensive," but he didn't take a hard line to kill wall funding as he did last spring.

Schumer and most other Senate Democrats voted for the wall last month, but only as part of failed legislation to protect young immigrants commonly known as "Dreamers."


12:30 p.m.

Dozens of pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators gathered on opposite sides of the street as President Donald Trump's motorcade entered a restricted area to see prototypes of his proposed border wall with Mexico.

The two sides were separated Tuesday by a heavy presence of police officers in helmets and riot gear, but the protests were peaceful. Demonstrators on each side carried signs and shouted.

Several dozen people along the motorcade route took photos. One hoisted a Trump flag and others raised middle fingers.

Earlier, about 250 Trump supporters rallied near San Diego's Otay Mesa border crossing. About 100 Trump opponents gathered at San Diego's San Ysidro border crossing, the nation's busiest.

Pro- and anti-Trump demonstrations were planned later in the day in Los Angeles for the president's arrival there.


12:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is paying a visit to the prototypes that have been built on the outskirts of San Diego for his promised border wall.

The eight 30-foot-tall (9-meter-tall) models are supposed to be used to help design the wall Trump has promised to build along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Trump has long said he wanted to visit the models himself so he can pick a winner, though the Department of Homeland Security says elements of each design are expected to be used.

This isn't Trump's first trip to a border location.

In July 2015, Trump traveled to Laredo, Texas, just weeks after declaring his candidacy to see the border for himself.

San Diego is the largest city on the U.S.-Mexico border to formally oppose his plans, passing a resolution in 2017.


11:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump has arrived in San Diego, where he'll be touring the prototypes for his stalled border wall.

It's his first visit to California as president.

Eight 30-foot-tall prototypes have been erected near the Mexican border to serve as models for the wall Trump wants to build.

The visit comes as Trump and his administration have voiced increasing anger at California's refusal to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Trump's Justice Department last week sued the state over three of its immigration laws.

Trump will also be addressing Marines in San Diego before flying to Los Angeles for a high-dollar fundraiser.

He'll be staying there overnight.


10:20 a.m.

Several dozen protesters are demonstrating in San Diego outside the nation's busiest border crossing against President Donald Trump and his plans to build more towering barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Demonstrators chanting "No ban! No wall!" are being cheered on Tuesday morning at the San Ysidro (ee-see-droh) port of entry by honking cars and buses.

Numerous rallies by groups for and against Trump are planned during his first visit to California as president. Trump will inspect eight prototypes for his future wall project before meeting Marines later in the day.

Many people walking into San Diego from Tijuana, Mexico, say they agree with the protest. Others say they understand why people want to secure the border more.


10 a.m.

San Diego's Republican mayor says President Donald Trump won't get a full picture of the city during his brief visit to inspect prototypes of his proposed border wall with Mexico.

Kevin Faulconer says that if Trump stayed more than a few hours, he would see that a strong economy and free trade aren't a contradiction but a way of life.

The mayor says a popular cross-border airport terminal connecting San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, shows that "building bridges has worked wonders." The terminal is located a few miles from the wall prototypes.

He also says that San Diego police work to protect everyone regardless of immigration status, an apparent dig at Trump's approach to immigration enforcement.

Faulconer's remarks appeared in a commentary published in The San Diego Union-Tribune.


9:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump says California's policy of refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities is unconstitutional, dangerous and "MUST STOP!"

Trump tweeted Tuesday that "thousands of dangerous & violent criminal aliens are released as a result of sanctuary policies" and are "set free to prey on innocent Americans."

The president tweeted from aboard Air Force One as it flew him to California for his first visit to the state as president. Trump is scheduled to visit eight prototypes for the massive wall he wants built along the U.S. border with Mexico. Protests for and against the wall are planned.

The trip comes as the Trump administration battles California over its refusal to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.


9 a.m.

The scene is quiet along the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego, where protests are expected when President Donald Trump arrives. Trump will examine prototypes of the wall he wants to build between the two countries.

On the Mexican side, federal and state police are standing by Tuesday morning but there is no crowd.

Tractor-trailer rigs have been parked along the U.S. side, blocking the view from Mexico.

Trump is currently en route to San Diego from Washington, D.C.


2 a.m.

Rallies for and against Donald Trump's "big beautiful border wall" with Mexico are expected to mark his first visit to California as president amid growing tensions between his administration and the state over immigration enforcement.

Trump will visit eight towering prototypes for the wall on Tuesday before addressing Marines in San Diego and attending a fundraiser in Los Angeles. He'll be staying there overnight.

"We're going to the wall. We're going out to the wall," Trump told reporters as he departed the White House. "We're going to be looking at the prototypes, which is very important for our country."

Trump's visit comes as his administration has been engaged in a war of words and legal briefs over California's refusal to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The Justice Department last week sued to block a trio of California laws designed to protect people living in the U.S. illegally. Attorney General Jeff Sessions followed up with a speech in Sacramento that was immediately denounced by the state's Gov. Jerry Brown, who said the Trump administration was "full of liars" and the lawsuit akin to an "an act of war."

A top federal immigration official lashed out at some of the state's elected leaders ahead of the visit. Thomas Homan, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's acting director, singled out Brown, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday for their recent criticism of a spate of immigration arrests in the state and a federal lawsuit challenging state laws that limit cooperation on immigration.

Homan said Pelosi's comments about federal agents terrorizing immigrant communities were "beyond the pale" and challenged Feinstein to change laws if she disagreed with how they are enforced.

Protests are also being planned across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, when Trump will examine the 30-foot-tall prototypes built along the international border to fulfill his signature campaign promise. Trump has insisted Mexico pay for the wall. Mexico has adamantly refused to consider the idea.

Organizers on both sides were urging people to remain peaceful after recent scuffles at rallies in Southern California, including brawls at a Dec. 9 rally near where the prototypes stand.

San Diego is the largest city on the U.S.-Mexico border to formally oppose his plans, passing a resolution in 2017.

Immigrant activists, church leaders and elected officials held a news conference at the city's historic Chicano Park to call for demonstrations to show border communities do not support a wall. Standing in front of murals of Mexican revolutionaries and other Latin American icons, they chanted "We reject your hate! We don't need your racist wall!"

"It's really important that as a region, as a city that has firsthand understanding of what the border wall means for our communities that we stand against (this) and we send a strong message to DC to say this is something that we don't welcome," City Councilwoman Georgette Gomez said on Monday.

Gomez sponsored the resolution opposing the wall, calling it detrimental to the city's environment and tourism. It also expressed the city's intent to divest from the companies involved in the construction, financing and design of the wall.

The visit isn't Trump's first to the border. Weeks after declaring his candidacy in June 2015, Trump traveled to Laredo, Texas, accompanied by a presidential-sized motorcade that included two coach buses packed with reporters.

Trump told reporters after landing that he was putting himself "in great danger" by coming to the border. But, he said, "I have to do it. I love this country." Laredo is one of Texas's safest cities.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer — who is not expected to meet with Trump during his visit — did not support the resolution but also did not veto it. The mayor's office said Faulconer, a Republican, has been clear in his opposition to walls along the border, but he did not want to blacklist companies involved in the construction of the prototypes.

"When some people look at the U.S.-Mexico border, they see division," Faulconer said in his state of the city address in 2017. "But here in San Diego we view it much differently. Rather than allowing the border to divide us, we're building bridges that connect us."

Jeff Schwilk, founder of San Diegans for Secure Borders, whose group participated in the December rally near the prototypes that ended in clashes with counterprotesters, said the city council's resolution does not reflect the views of many residents, who feel the border is not secure. He said his organization respects free speech and hopes Tuesday's rally will be safe for participants.

"We absolutely want President Trump to feel welcome and to come inspect the prototypes so we can get the wall built," he said.

Trump is expected Tuesday to be briefed on lessons learned from the construction of the prototypes built in San Diego last fall. He also will meet with border agents and officers to ask what they need, Homeland Security spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.

The president will not be swayed by California Republican lawmakers concerned the wall is a waste of money, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday.

"The president campaigned on this, he talked about it extensively, and he's the president and this is something that he is not going to back away from," she said. "It's something that he's going to continue to push for."

California's governor on Monday invited Trump to also visit the state's high-speed rail construction projects.

"You see, in California we are focusing on bridges, not walls," Brown, a Democrat, said in a letter sent to Trump.


Associated Press writers Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, John Antczak in Los Angeles, Elliot Spagat in San Diego, and Jill Colvin and Nancy Benac in Washington contributed to this report.