‘That’s not my America’: Gavin Newsom talks immigration in San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- Governor-elect Gavin Newsom spoke in San Ysidro Thursday, addressing immigration issues surrounding the caravan of Central American migrants that has gathered in Tijuana with hopes of seeking asylum in the US.

The press conference, held at the San Ysidro Civic Center, came after Newsom toured the Otay Mesa Immigration Detention Center and met with groups advocating for the asylum seekers.

On Friday, the Governor-elect will meet with Mexican officials in Mexico City at the inauguration of the country's President-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. In a release, Newsom's office said the meetings will, "reaffirm and build upon the deep economic, political and cultural bonds that connect Mexico and California."

At the post-visit news conference, Newsom called on the city of San Diego and San Diego and Imperial counties to do more to support immigrants illegally coming to the U.S., rather than just simply responding to the influx.

Newsom acknowledged that the state government also needs to make a greater effort in supporting immigrants and asylum seekers, suggesting that they often end up homeless without access to the proper support networks and resources.

"My job is to be constructive, my job is to try to find ways to bring people to the table and to address what legitimately can be described as a humanitarian crisis," Newsom said. "We're all in this together. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to address the issues that we as a broader community face and I think we need to humanize this issue, not politicize the issue."

Newsom critiqued federal immigration authorities on Twitter over the weekend after a clash between members of the migrant caravan in Tijuana and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents resulted in the use of tear gas to quell the crowds.

CBP officials shut the San Ysidro Port of Entry completely for multiple hours as a result of the incident and multiple migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

"These children are barefoot. In diapers. Choking on tear gas," Newsom wrote on Twitter after photos surfaced of a woman at the border with two young children trying to avoid tear gas cannisters. "Women and children who left their lives behind -- seeking peace and asylum -- were met with violence and fear. That's not my America. We're a land of refuge. Of hope. Of freedom. And we will not stand for this."