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Ocasio-Cortez says VP Harris telling Guatemalans not to come to US border is 'disappointing'

"This is disappointing to see," the New York Congresswoman tweeted

Updated: June 9, 2021 - 10:09am

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Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the unofficial leader of her party’s progressive wing, is now among elected members of both major political parties to express disappointment in Vice President Kamala Harris' handling of the U.S. immigration problems at the southern border. 

"This is disappointing to see," the New York Congresswoman tweeted after Harris in a news conference Monday with Guatemalan president Alejandro Giammattei told Guatemalans not to trek the U.S. border to seek asylum.

"First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival," Ocasio-Cortez also said in the tweet. "Second, 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 was responding to Harris saying: "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."

Harris has been tasked by President Biden to try to improve conditions at the southwest border, which in recent months has been hit with a record number of immigrants, particularly unaccompanied minors, seeking entry into the U.S. 

Among the factors is the annual seasonal spring migration, messaging from the Biden administration interpreted to suggest it would be more open to immigration than the previous Trump administration and poor living conditions in the so-called Northern Triangle of Guatemala Honduras and El Salvador.

Harris this week made a trip to Guatemala and Mexico, but has yet to go the U.S.-Mexico border, where many of those trying to enter the U.S., including the unaccompanied minors, are living in nearby, makeshift shelters.

Harris said earlier this week that she’s been to the border and will go again.

"The Biden Border Crisis is getting worse, and as his chosen 'point person,' Vice President Harris, has a responsibility to help end it," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Monday. "Instead of touring Central America and promising more aid, she should be helping our own communities navigate this crisis. But of course that would require actually visiting our southern border and witnessing the crisis for herself."

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