During a trip to California on Tuesday, President Donald Trump attacked California once again for its sanctuary policies, falsely claimed the state is in poor shape and said its leaders are "begging" his administration for a wall.
"Governor Brown does a very poor job running California," Trump said. "They have the highest taxes in the United States. The place is totally out of control. You have 'sanctuary cities' where you have criminals living in the sanctuary cities."
Gov. Jerry Brown clapped back on Twitter, the president's personal favorite platform.
"Thanks for the shout-out, @realDonaldTrump," he tweeted. "But bridges are still better than walls. And California remains the 6th largest economy in the world and the most prosperous state in America. #Facts."
California has the sixth largest GDP in the world, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported. In the United States, it is ranked no. 8 for per capita GDP. In contrast, the national average ranks at 22. California is also ranked no. 1 for GDP growth.
California is not an outlier, either. As DiversityInc previously reported:
"Meanwhile, sanctuary cities and states appear to be doing just fine. Nearly all of the states that have defined themselves as sanctuary states — California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont, per the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) — have a higher per capita GDP than the national average. And more than half of states that have designated sanctuary cities and/or counties see a better-than-average GDP. For the states that do not have a GDP per capita rate above the national average, they all have less than five sanctuary cities or counties (with the exception of Iowa)."
The 10 states with the lowest per capita GDP rating are all states that do not have any designated sanctuary cities or counties as defined by CIS — including Alabama, where Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III formerly served as senator, which ranks 45th among states. The only exceptions are Kentucky and Mississippi, which each have one designated sanctuary city: Louisville and Jackson.
Trump's rhetoric about immigration and crime has been discredited, too. Immigrants are less likely than native-born residents to commit serious crimes or go to prison, the American Immigration Council reported. In fact, high rates of immigration correlate with even lower rates of violent and property crimes.
Begging for a Wall?
Politifact investigated the president's claim that progressive California is desperate for a wall.
"For the people that say 'no wall,' if you had no walls over here, you wouldn't have a country. The state of California is begging us to build walls in certain areas. They don't tell you that. And we said no, we won't do it until we build the whole wall," Trump said.
The verdict? Not so much.
Like many of Trump's claims, this one made no sense to the governor's office, a spokesperson told Politifact.
"We gave up trying to translate — and fully understand — the tweets and extemporaneous thoughts of the president long ago," the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for the Center for Biological Diversity agreed.
"It's been increasingly difficult to make sense of the things this administration says, and President Trump in particular," said Randy Serraglio.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom was more straightforward.
"California is not 'begging' you for this wall," he said on Twitter. "Your wall is a waste of money and is literally impossible to complete. It will look more like a piece of swiss cheese than an insurmountable barrier. It's nothing more than a 6th century solution to a 21st century problem."
The state's attorney general, Xavier Beccera, told Fox News that he is open to security measures but the idea of a wall is "medieval."
"We've always called for border security on a bipartisan basis, but building walls, that's a medieval technology that really doesn't have a place in the 21st century," he told the news outlet on the day of Trump's visit.