NEW YORK — U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is unhappy with Vice President Kamala Harris’ comments in Guatemala telling Central American migrants not to come to the U.S.
Harris is in Central America to talk to regional leaders about the immigration surge at the southern U.S. border. Many of the migrants overwhelming U.S. border areas are from Central America and are escaping poverty and gangs.
There has been a surge of immigrants trying to enter the U.S. after President Joe Biden took office and began reversing the Trump administration’s hardline stances on immigration. There have been record numbers of migrants arrested entering the U.S. from Mexico.
Harris told Guatemalans and others not to migrate to the U.S. during comments Monday.
“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,” said Harris.
That upset Ocasio-Cortez — a leading progressive who has previously faulted the Biden administration over handling and housing of unaccompanied migrant children and teens at the southern border.
The Bronx congresswoman, also known by her AOC moniker, noted U.S. involvement in the region historically and the levels of poverty migrants are escaping from in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
The U.S. has at times backed right-wing, military and authoritarian regimes in Latin America and other developing countries.
“This is disappointing to see. First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival. 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, “ said Ocasio-Cortez via Twitter.
The Delmarva Peninsula is home to a number of Central American immigrants working in the agriculture, seafood and tourism sectors.
Progressives have also been frustrated with the Biden administration's pro-Israel stances during the recent war in Gaza.