The visit ends a 417-day stretch unmatched by any modern president and one largely reflective of the toxic relationship between the Trump administration and officials in the country’s most populous state, among them the governor, attorney general and mayor of Oakland.
California’s laws, known as “sanctuary city” statutes among critics, limit the cooperation that residents and officials can or must provide to the federal government on issues of immigration enforcement.
According to his current schedule, the president is not likely to encounter many of the California residents who voted against him in November 2016. Brown penned an open letter to Trump Monday urging him to visit “cities like Fresno and Madera” where “more than a dozen bridges and viaducts are being built” for a new light-rail system.
“You see, in California we are focusing on bridges, not walls,” Brown says in the letter. “And that’s more than just a figure of speech.”
Becerra has waged a war with the Trump administration in court, where he has filed more than 25 lawsuits against the Trump administration over the past 14 months, challenging policies ranging from immigration restrictions and rollbacks of environmental regulations to the attempted ban on transgender people serving in the military.
In a statement, ICE said the February operation led to the arrest of more than 150 individuals in violation of federal U.S. immigration laws, half of which, ICE said, also had criminal convictions.
“The mayor’s conduct directly threatened the safety of federal immigration officers and the law-abiding Americans in her community,” Trump said in his weekly address.
"In recent years California has enacted a number of laws designed to intentionally obstruct the work of our sworn immigration enforcement officers, to intentionally use every power the legislature has to undermine the duly established immigration law of America," Sessions said.
Sessions also took aim at the Oakland mayor during his speech, saying, “Here’s my message to Mayor Schaaf: How dare you? How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement just to promote a radical open borders agenda.”
Brown responded to Sessions’ speech and the lawsuit by saying in a statement, which mimicked Trump’s tone, “At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”
And despite his visits to hurricane victims in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Puerto Rico, Trump was criticized for his delayed public response to the deadly wildfires and mudslides that plagued the state through 2017 and early 2018.
When asked about the reason for the holdup, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders explained last week, “It's because he's been busy growing the economy, creating jobs, defeating ISIS, remaking the judiciary. I'd be happy to name off some other successes.”
But the state also notably delivered Trump his biggest defeat in the 2016 election. He lost the state’s 55 electoral college votes by more than 4 million to Hillary Clinton, which he later alleged without evidence was partly the result of widespread voter fraud.