Vice President Kamala Harris told Guatemalans on Monday they shouldn't try to cross the US border.
"You will be turned back," Harris told a conference in Guatemala City, in her first overseas trip.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said this was "disappointing to see."
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has criticized Vice President Kamala Harris' rejection of Guatemalan migrants, saying the US was in part responsible for destabilizing the country in the first place.
At a press conference in Guatemala City on Monday, Harris told Guatemalans thinking of trying to enter the US to stay home, saying, "Do not come."
Later on Monday, Ocasio-Cortez said of Harris' speech, "This is disappointing to see."
"First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival," Ocasio-Cortez said.
"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 continued.
The US recorded more than 178,000 migrants - a number of whom were Guatemalan - trying to enter the US-Mexico border in April, the US Customs and Border Patrol said. It was the highest one-month total in 20 years, CNN reported.
On March 24, Biden said he was putting Harris in charge of all affairs concerning the southern US border.
At her Monday speech, Harris said: "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 that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come."
"We, as one of our priorities, will discourage illegal migration. And I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back," she added.
Guatemala was Harris' first foreign trip as vice president.
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