VP Pence in Brazil to Central Americans: ‘If You Can’t Come Legally, Don’t Come at All’

Pence in Brazil
AP/Mary Schwalm
Washington, DC

Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Brazil on Tuesday with a warning message for Central Americans thinking of coming to the United States or sending their children with smugglers: “If you can’t come legally, don’t come at all.”

Pence was in Brazil meeting with President Michel Temer when he made remarks specifically addressed to Central Americans.

“To the people of Central America, I have a message for you, straight from my heart and straight from the heart of the American people,” Pence began, calling them neighbors with hopes that they will “prosper and thrive.”

“Don’t risk you lives or the lives of your children by trying to come to the United States on a road run by drug smugglers and human traffickers,” urged Pence. 

“If you can’t come legally, don’t come at all,” he said firmly with a strong warning. “If someone tells you they can bring your child to America, don’t believe them. Hold on to your children.” 

The Vice President urged Central Americans to “Build your lives in your homeland and be confident that your neighbors in the United States and across this new world are all working together to ensure a brighter future for all of the nations of this hemisphere.”

“In the first six months of this year nearly 150,000 Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorians abandoned their homes and made the often dangerous journey to the United State in the misguided belief that they could enter our country illegally,” said Pence. 

Pence then turned his messages to all nations in the region, “With great respect, just as the United States respects your borders and your sovereignty, we insist that you respect ours.”

The Vice President emphasized that the United States is a nation of laws. He continued, “We also want the people of our Hemisphere to have the chance to build a better life for themselves in the land of their birth, rather than leaving for ours.”

“The United States has invested significant resources to help Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador stop the flow of drugs and cripple the criminal syndicates that plague the region,” he made clear. Pence further pledged to take his message to the leaders of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador when he meets with them on Thursday in Guatemala City.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 

.