GUATEMALA CITY (KION and AP) Vice President Kamala Harris visited Guatemala Monday to meet with President Alejandro Giammattei, and comments she made during a press conference after the meeting have been met with backlash.
Harris warned migrants considering crossing the border into the U.S. not to come.
“I want to emphasize that the goal of our work is to help Guatemalans find hope at home,” Harris said. “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.”
Central Coast Assemblymember Robert Rivas responded to her statement on Facebook and Twitter.
"I find her comments off base and disrespectful to the millions of Latino immigrants who power the American economy. Kamala's statements are absolutely not productive to achieving comprehensive immigration reform," he wrote.
Rivas was not the only one sharing criticism. Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voiced her opinion about the warning on Twitter.
"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," she wrote.
Harris declined to respond directly to the criticism when reporters asked, saying only: “I’m really clear: we have to deal with the root causes and that is my hope. Period.”