New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed Vice President Kamala Harris’ words telling Guatemalans not to come to the U.S. border.
Harris said during a news conference in Guatemala on Monday that potential immigrants planning to cross the U.S. border should not do so, clearly saying, “Do not come.”
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “This is disappointing to see.”
The congresswoman added, “First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival.
“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.”
This is disappointing to see.
First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival.
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. https://t.co/vADyh5H0bw
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 7, 2021
The post was also retweeted by fellow “squad” member Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
The criticism came as Harris sought to address the recent surge of illegal immigrants crossing the nation’s southern border, including many from Guatemala. U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced more than 178,000 encounters with migrants attempting to cross the border in April.
In the first international trip by Harris as vice president, she said in her speech to the Guatemalan people, “We, as one of our priorities, will discourage illegal migration. And I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back,” according to Fox News.
“Border Patrol has released more than 60,000 migrants into the United States without a court date since Biden took office, asking them to simply report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) instead,” Fox reported.
Harris also faced criticism from activists as she landed in Guatemala. When she descended the steps of Air Force Two, Harris was greeted by a crowd of protesters outside the airport — many of them pro-Donald Trump activists — flashing signs that read “Kamala Mind Your Own Business,” “Kamala Go Home” and “Kamala, Trump Won.”
As a group called Society in Action, which protested outside the airport, told El Faro, a Central American newspaper based in El Salvador, “We’re not against Kamala Harris’s diplomatic visit, but rather her interference and blackmail in return for aid.”
One of the demonstrators continued: “We’re against [the Biden administration’s] agenda of imposing the LGBTQ, pro-abortion ideology. In Guatemala we’re pro-life.”
“We’re not against Kamala Harris’s diplomatic visit, but rather her interference and blackmail in return for aid,” said Society In Action, a group of 20 which calls itself “the real civil society,” in a protest with the Veterans’ Association outside the Air Force of #Guatemala. pic.twitter.com/rDqFv7nMGy
— El Faro English (@ElFaroEnglish) June 6, 2021
In an interview conducted Friday that aired Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei also made clear that he blamed the change of presidential administrations north of the Rio Grande for the surge of illegal migration from Central America and other nations, fostered by the human-smugglers known as “coyotes.”
In the interview, conducted in both Spanish and English, Giammattei said after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the message from the U.S. had changed from the rigid anti-illegal immigration stance of former President Donald Trump to a much more welcoming attitude.
“The message changed to, ‘We are going to reunite families and we are going to reunite children,’” Giammattei said.
“The very next day the coyotes here were organizing groups of children to take them to the United States.”
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