In a twitter post, Ocasio-Cortez said coming to the U.S. border seeking asylum is a legal method of arrival.
The progressive Democrat also said the U.S. has contributed to destabilization in certain areas of Latin America and “we can’t help set someone’s house on fire and then blame them for fleeing.”
As previously reported by Fox News, Harris made comments appearing to clarify the administration’s stance on immigration during a visit to Guatemala, where she said the U.S. intends to continue working toward securing its border.
“I want to emphasize that the goal of our work is to help Guatemalans find hope at home, at the same time I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making the dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border — do not come, do not come,” she said. “There are legal methods by which migration can and should occur.”
Harris said the administration would discourage illegal migration and that people who arrived at the border that way would be “turned back.”
Harris partook in a joint press conference with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei during her first trip to the region since President Biden tasked her with taking the lead on combating the “root causes” of illegal immigration in the countries where it originates.
Harris previously identified several acute causes of migration from Guatemala, including recent hurricanes, persistent drought, and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Root causes include poverty and the resulting lack of economic opportunities, corruption and the absence of good governance, and violence against women, the LGBTQ community and Afro-descendants.
She was tapped for the role at the end of March as the number of migrants looking to cross the U.S. border surges.
Giammattei noted that the U.S. has been asked to send a clearer message on immigration.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.