Republican and Democratic presidential candidates are focusing their attention on California, the largest state in the union with the largest delegate cache, well ahead of the state's June primary.
On April 29, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke to a delegation of California Republican leaders at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, a city just south of the San Francisco airport.
“There has to be unity in our party,” Trump told the audience. “Would I win -- could I win -- without it? I think so because they’re going to be voting for me,” Trump continued, suggesting supporters were voting for him directly, and not as a proxy for the GOP, reports The Associated Press.
But as he spoke, protesters clashed with police outside. Trump had reportedly entered the Burlingame hotel by crawling under a fence circling the property.
“[It] felt like I was crossing the border,” Trump joked.
One night earlier, in Costa Mesa, a city about 45 minutes south of Los Angeles in Orange County, protestors outside of Trump’s rally devolved into violence. Police arrested 17 people, reports the Los Angeles Times.
“We’re going to stop drugs from coming in,” Trump told the Orange County crowd, insinuating a connection between Mexican immigrants and drug trafficking. “The drugs are poisoning our youth and a lot of other people.”
A large presence within the protesting crowd was Latino youth. Mexican flags were seen in abundance.
“We’re going to keep showing up and standing against the actions and the hate Donald Trump is creating,” Luis Serrano, an organizer with California Immigration Youth Justice Alliance, said. “We are going to continue to just show up in numbers and stand together against hate. I think it’s going to get worse if [Trump] gets the nomination and is the front-runner. I think it’s going to escalate.”