AOC Slams 'Disappointing' Kamala Harris for Telling Migrants Not to Come Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks during a press conference at Jacobi Hospital in the Morris Park neighborhood on June 03, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
By Brian Freeman | Tuesday, 08 June 2021 09:33 AM
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lashed out at Vice President Kamala Harris, calling her remarks on Monday that Guatemalans considering crossing the border should not come "disappointing," the Business Insider reported.
Harris, making her first visit abroad as vice president, said in Guatemala City that "I want to emphasize that the goal of our work is to help Guatemalans find hope at home. 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."
The vice president further emphasized that the U.S., "as one of our priorities, will discourage illegal migration. And I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back."
Ocasio-Cortez said the comments by Harris were "disappointing to see."
The New York Democrat stressed on Twitter that "seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival," adding that "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 added in another tweet that "It would be helpful if the US would finally acknowledge its contributions to destabilization and regime change in the region. Doing so can help us change US foreign policy, trade policy, climate policy, & carceral border policy to address causes of mass displacement & migration."
Ocasio-Cortez, according to The Star Democrat, was referring to American support, at times, for right-wing, military, and authoritarian administrations in Latin America.
The congresswoman, one of the leading progressives in the House, has previously criticized the Biden administration over its treatment of unaccompanied migrant children at the southern border.
President Joe Biden tasked Harris at the end of March with being in charge of combating the "root causes" of illegal immigration in the nations where it originates, Fox News reported.
This comes as the problem continues to fester, with the U.S. recording more than 178,000 migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-southern border in April, the last month for which data is available, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
CNN reported that this was the the highest one-month total in two decades.
Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy also criticized Harris during her trip, saying that the vice president "has yet to travel to our southern border and see the extent of the crisis she and President Biden have created over the past six months," the Daily Mail reported.
He added that the current administration is taking "the typical Democrat approach of throwing more taxpayer dollars at a problem without first thinking through a coherent strategy," even though "Aid programs have failed to stem migration in the past."