Vice President Harris’s office on Tuesday doubled down on its call for migrants not to make the long journey from Central America to the United States amid criticism from some progressives for the comments she made on Monday telling Guatemalans: “Don’t come”.
“The president and vice president have clearly dissuaded people from making the dangerous and treacherous journey to the US-Mexico border,” Harris chief spokesperson Symone Sanders said in a statement. “We encourage those who wish to come to the United States to do so legally and to seek legal immigration options in their home country. The Vice President is committed to addressing the root causes of migration, which also explains why migrants arrive at our border. “
The statement came after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., denounced Harris’ “don’t come” comment on Monday. Harris, in the same comments, also said she believed that if people came to the US border they “would be turned away.”
“It’s disappointing to see,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival. Second, the United States has spent decades contributing to regime change and destabilization in Latin America. . “
AOC CALLS FOR COMMENTS ON HARRIS ‘IMGRATION’ DISAPPOINTING ‘AS VP WARNS MIGRANTS’ DON’T COME
This tweet was shared by Representative Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Who is another member of the far-left “Squad” in the House.
Harris’s original comments came at a press conference Monday with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei. Harris said she was focusing on the “root causes” of immigration like poor economies and corruption in Central America. But she also said people should not attempt to cross the border between the United States and Mexico.
“I want to be clear with the people in this area who are considering taking this dangerous journey to the US-Mexico border: don’t come. Don’t come,” Harris said. “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. And I think if you come to our border, you will be turned away.
Harris also received criticism from other far-left activists and commentators on Monday. Among them was Briahna Joy Gray, the former press secretary to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., On his presidential campaign.
“Sincerely happy to see elected officials slowly recognize that the Biden administration is not exceeding or even meeting basic expectations,” she tweeted in response to Ocasio-Cortez’s post.
“It’s so patronizing – like people have a choice,” added Elías López, editor of world opinions at the Washington Post. “People are legally allowed to seek asylum at the border. It is not a human policy. It is more or less the same.”
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Harris is in Central America this week on her first international trip as vice president. She was commissioned by President Biden to manage the government’s response to the massive wave of migration to the southern border and focuses on addressing the “root causes” of the wave in Central America.
The number of migrants arriving at the southern border has skyrocketed under the Biden administration. According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the agency met more than 173,000 migrants in March and more than 178,000 in April. This is an increase from over 78,000 in January and over 74,000 in February.
Many families arriving at the US border are allowed to stay in the country, despite Harris’ comments.
The border patrol has released more than 60,000 migrants in the United States without a court date since Biden took office, asking them to simply report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Fox News’ Pat Ward and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
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