New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed her disappointment with Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday after she said during a press conference in Guatemala that migrants should not make the journey to America’s southern border.
“This is disappointing,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet about the vice president’s comments on immigration. “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,” she said.
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
Ocasio-Cortez followed up in the thread by continuing to blame the U.S. for “mass displacement & migration” in Central America, calling on U.S. leaders to “acknowledge its contributions to destabilization and regime change in the region.”
Vice President Harris urged Guatemalans earlier on Monday during a press conference with President Alejandro Giammattei to discourage their friends and family members from making the dangerous journey to America and look to legal migration channels.
“The goal of our work is to help Guatemalans find hope at home,” Harris said. “At the same time, 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.”
“There are legal methods by which migration can and should occur, but we as one of our priorities will discourage illegal migration and I believe that if you come to our border you will be turned back,” Harris continued.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials encountered over 178,000 migrants at the southern border in April including more than 17,000 unaccompanied minors.
Harris’ visit with the Guatemalan president was her first bilateral meeting since President Joe Biden placed her in charge of the administration’s response to the ongoing immigration crisis.