AOC blasts Kamala Harris for turning away Guatemalan refugee

'Do not come': AOC blasts Kamala Harris for turning away Guatemalan refugees from US
2 min read
08 June, 2021
Harris urged would-be migrants not to make the treacherous journey to the United States:
Harris' trip is part of the Biden administration's promise to implement a more humane immigration policy [Getty]

Progressive Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) slammed vice-President Kamala Harris on Monday for comments she made on Guatemalan immigration to the US.

Harris urged would-be migrants from the Central American state not to make the treacherous journey to the United States, saying: "Do not come."

"The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders... If you come to our border, you will be turned back," she added.

AOC attacked the VP's comments, saying they were "disappointing".

"First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100 per cent legal method of arrival," AOC said Monday on Twitter.

"Second, the US spent decades contributing to regime change and destabilisation in Latin America. We can’t help set someone’s house on fire and then blame them for fleeing."

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The vice-president said Monday the US hopes to work with Guatemala to address the root causes of undocumented migration to the US by creating "a sense of hope" in the poverty and violence-plagued country. It was her first trip abroad since taking office.

Meeting President Alejandro Giammattei in Guatemala City, Harris said reducing undocumented migration from Central to North America was a priority for US President Joe Biden's administration.

She proposed that the United States and Guatemala "work together" to find solutions to "long-standing problems" and announced a joint task force on smuggling and human trafficking, a women's empowerment programme, and an anti-corruption task force to help local law enforcement prosecute cases.

Her trip is part of the Biden administration's promise to implement a more humane immigration policy after the hardline approach taken by his predecessor Donald Trump.