New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on June 7 criticized Vice President Kamala Harris for telling undocumented migrants from Guatemala to not come to the United States.
“I want to be clear to folks in the region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come,” Harris said at a press conference in Guatemala during her first foreign trip as vice president.
“The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border. There are legal methods which migration can and should occur, but we, as one of our priorities, will discourage illegal migration,” Harris further said, adding that those who come to the border will be “turned back.”
Hours later, Ocasio-Cortez, widely known as AOC, described Harris’ remarks as “disappointing to see.”
“First, seeking asylum at any U.S. border is a 100% legal method of arrival,” Ocasio-Cortez stated on Twitter.
Ocasio-Cortez argued that the U.S. is partly to blame for the poverty, violence, and corruption in Central America.
“Second, the U.S. 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,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“It would be helpful if the U.S. would finally acknowledge its contributions to destabilization and regime change in the region. Doing so can help us change U.S. foreign policy, trade policy, climate policy, and carceral border policy to address causes of mass displacement & migration,” Ocasio-Cortez also said.
Human rights groups also criticized Harris for her comments and urged President Joe Biden’s administration to reverse the restrictions at the border set during Donald Trump’s administration.