Gov. Jerry Brown, mocking Donald Trump for his plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, suggested Monday that if the Republican frontrunner wins the election, California might have to take protective measures of its own.
“If Trump were ever elected, we’d have to build a wall around California to defend ourselves from the rest of this country,” Brown told labor organizers at a dinner in Sacramento. “By the way that is a joke. We don’t like walls, we like bridges.”
Brown, the Democratic governor of a liberal border state, has signed legislation granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and allowing undocumented immigrant college students to receive public financial aid. Like many Democrats, he has pushed Washington unsuccessfully for an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.
Addressing members of the California Labor Federation and State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, Brown said California has benefited from immigration to the state, arguing that young workers are an economic boon.
“Some of these old white guys ought to recognize that the whole pension system would collapse if we didn’t have a bunch of young people coming into this country and into this state,” the 77-year-old governor said. “They’re not all coming from here. They’re coming from other places.”
Brown also re-opened a years-old feud with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who withdrew from the presidential race last year. Before leaving office, Perry, a self-proclaimed hunter of jobs, ran radio ads in California luring companies to move to his state.
“If I asked you who was that governor, there aren’t 50 people in this room that could even tell me his damn name,” Brown said. “And people who attack California, they do become anonymous and forgotten. Rightfully so.”