California’s Latino Legislative Caucus criticized both Vice President Kamala Harris’ remarks to asylum seekers in Guatemala and former President Donald Trump’s border policies, claiming that seeking asylum in America is legal.
Democratic California state Sen. and Caucus Chair María Elena Durazo and Democratic California state Assemblyman and Vice-Chair Robert Rivas issued a statement Wednesday after the vice president told asylum seekers Monday not to come to the U.S. during a visit to Guatemala.
The vice president’s “do not come” statement echoed that of the President Joe Biden earlier in March, when he suggested migrants should not come to the U.S. as a result of a massive migrant surge on the border at the time.
Latino Caucus Chair @SenMariaEDurazo and Vice-Chair @AsmRobertRivas issued the following statement in response to Vice President Harris’ remarks to asylum seekers in Guatemala this week: pic.twitter.com/T0eHu4U2TM
— CA Latino Caucus (@LatinoCaucus) June 9, 2021
“America has long stood as a beacon of hope, opportunity, and safety for those looking to escape violence, extreme poverty, and political persecution.” The statement read in part, adding that the matter for some was “life or death.”
The statement applauded the vice president’s effort for “seeking to address the root causes of why so many…are fleeing to our border.” (RELATED: Record Number Of Migrants Attempted To Enter The US In May, Border Officials Say)
“Sadly, most of these issues were worsened by the Trump Administration’s four years of ineptitude and neglect,” the statement continued, adding that the country should stick to precedent that did not discourage asylum seekers.
“Seeking asylum in the United States is not only legal but a matter of life and death for many,” the Latino Caucus leaders said. https://t.co/EcmIrGR3bG
— The Modesto Bee (@modbee) June 9, 2021
“They are doing what they need to do to survive. As such, we urge the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to follow the moral and legal imperative to create a process to allow all asylum seekers to come to this country as a part of a larger, long-overdue comprehensive reform of our immigration system,” the statement concluded.
Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has also expressed disappointment with the vice president following her remarks, criticizing the U.S. for “set[ting] someone’s house on fire and then blame them for fleeing.”
Former President Donald Trump also criticized the Biden administration Wednesday, stating that the border crisis was “now worse than ever before” and that “at no time in our country’s history has anything so outrageous taken place.”
Harris has also said that she plans on visiting the U.S.-Mexico border “soon,” but did not offer a definitive timetable on when a visit may happen.