Gov. Gavin Newsom said he plans to travel to El Salvador next month on a fact-finding mission to learn more about the factors driving Central Americans to flee their countries.
Newsom announced his plans, the international trip he'll take as governor, at a Los Angeles health clinic on Thursday, surrounded by state politicians and community leaders from El Salvador and other Latin American countries. California is home to the largest group of Salvadorans outside of El Salvador.
The trip is packed with political symbolism: It’s designed to highlight what Democrats regard as California's more compassionate approach to newcomers, in sharp contrast to the Trump administration's aversion to the waves of asylum seekers at the U.S. border.
“As a country we’ve lacked a rational policy in Central America, and we are paying the price today,” Newsom said. “You cannot solve the migrant issue by building walls, it is so much more multifaceted and complex. It’s not just violence, it’s not just poverty, it’s about environment and all of these complex issues.”
Newsom said he intends to invite other border-state governors and leaders across the nation to help “push back against the dominant narrative that is so destructive in this country that the president of the United States has been advancing."