Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is blasting Vice President Kamala Harris for telling illegal immigrants to not come to the United States amid a record surge in illegal border crossings — calling the veep’s comments “disappointing.”
Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) offered the rebuke in a series of tweets Monday evening, retweeting a video of the vice president discouraging illegal migration during her trip to Guatemala.
“I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come, do not come,” Harris said while speaking to reporters at a press conference alongside Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.
“The United States will continue to enforce our laws, and secure our border. There are legal methods by which migration can and should occur, but we, as one of our priorities, will discourage illegal migration,” she continued. “And I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back.”
For AOC, Harris’ comments were “disappointing to see.”
“First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival,” the progressive pol wrote.
“Second, the US spent decades contributing to regime change and destabilization in Latin America. We can’t help set someone’s house on fire and then blame them for fleeing.”
The New York Democrat went on to call on the US to “finally acknowledge its contributions to destabilization and regime change in the region.”
“Doing so can help us change US foreign policy, trade policy, climate policy, & carceral border policy to address causes of mass displacement & migration,” she added.
The Biden administration’s undoing of former President Donald Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.
Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — have taken these policy moves, as well as the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a sign that Biden is inviting them to cross the border.
Insisting that the border was not facing a crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in early March that the problems the agency faced should be blamed on the previous administration.
The data, however, overwhelmingly shows that migrants were flooding the border because they believed Biden would welcome them with open arms.
As the crisis heated up, Biden tapped his vice president to address the diplomatic measures related to its “root causes.”
Giammattei said in a CBS News interview that aired Sunday that the Biden administration is to blame for sparking the migration crisis.
The Guatemalan president said he and Harris “are not on the same side of the coin” on migration.
“We asked the United States government to send more of a clear message to prevent more people from leaving,” Giammattei said.
When Biden took office, “The message changed too: ‘We’re going to reunite families, we’re going to reunite children,’” he said. “The very next day, the coyotes were here organizing groups of children to take them to the United States.”