VP Harris Tempers ‘Do Not Come’ Message to Migrants, Vows to Make U.S. ‘Safe Haven’

Kamala Harris hands (Nick Ut / Associated Press)
Nick Ut/Associated Press

Vice President Kamala Harris reportedly “softened” her “do not come” to the U.S. border message to migrants Monday in interviews with Spanish-language news outlets later this week.

During a press conference in Guatemala, Harris urged potential migrants not to come to the U.S. amid the worsening border crisis because they “will be turned back,” offending leading progressives in her party who suggested the warning was insensitive.

The Spanish wire service EFE reported Friday that the VP tempered her remarks in an exclusive interview after her trip to Guatemala and Mexico early this week, marking her first foreign journey since taking office.

EFE noted:

The vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris, softened on Thursday the harsh message that she had sent to potential migrants during her trip this week to Guatemala and Mexico, assuring that she is “committed” to ensuring that her country will be a “safe haven “for those seeking asylum.”

Via Twitter, Sabrina Rodriguez from Politico highlighted Harris’s change of tune with EFE and U.S.-based Univision, a Spanish-language media outlet.

The Univision anchor told Harris it is hard to hear the “do not come” message to potential migrants, including those seeking a better future, coming from a VP who is herself a daughter of immigrants.

In responding, the VP reportedly indicated that she made that request so that people who are looking to travel to the U.S. “for reasons of violence or hunger, can stay in their country.”

Harris explicitly replied:

I have worked on this issue for almost my entire career and have always been an advocate for documented and undocumented immigrants in terms of the need to make sure they are safe, free from violence and damages, and that they are treated with dignity and that those seeking citizenship are provided meaningful pathways.

Therefore, this is a long-standing part of my job and as an advocate and ally to those seeking protection from violence. On the issue of asylum, I will tell you that we are very committed as an administration. I am very committed to ensuring that we provide a safe haven for those seeking asylum, period.

Harris’s “do not come” remarks drew the ire of leading progressives in her party with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (NY) condemning her warnings as “disappointing” on Twitter.

“This whole ‘stay there and die’ approach is not how our country will promote a more humane and just immigration system,” Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), an AOC ally, added via Twitter.

Harris also caught flak from Republicans and White House sources cited by Democrat-allied CNN, who believe her trip may have been a failure.

President Joe Biden is deploying U.S. Department of Homeland (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to Mexico days after Harris’s visit in a possible attempt at damage control.

Harris and her team insist that President Biden “mischaracterized” her mission as one having to do with the border crisis, CNN learned from unnamed White House officials.

The VP has repeatedly stressed that she is solely responsible for addressing the “root causes” of migration from the Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, the primary source of the increasing surge of migrants.

The pro-Democrat Slate Magazine published an article Thursday indicating Biden wants Harris to fail by putting her in charge of a seemingly intractable border crisis hurting the administration.

Democrats and their allies often blasted former President Donald Trump, whose rigid border security policies limited migration to the United States, for allegedly failing to tackle the complex problems.

Besides CNN, the Democrat-allied media outlet Daily Beast published an editorial that also threw shade on Harris’s visit to Latin America, noting that she “may have made matters worse.”

It added, “First, this root-causes business is horse crap. The spinners within the Biden administration concocted that line to skirt the embarrassing fact that Harris is tasked with solving the border crisis but can’t find her way to the border ….”

Despite a bipartisan push, Harris refuses to visit the border, with sources quoted by CNN saying it is because the VP and her team believe being linked to that crisis could be politically harmful to her chances of becoming president.

The crisis at the border is only worsening, with U.S. Border Patrol encounters reaching an over two-decade-high again, at more than 180,000 in May.


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