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Biden's DHS chief warned Cuban and Haitian migrants not to enter the US: 'If you take to the sea, you will not come'

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DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images
  • DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas told Cuban and Haitian migrants not to come to the US.

  • "Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States," he said.

  • His comments came amid unrest in both island nations.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has told would-be Cuban and Haitian migrants not to try to come to the US illegally by boat, calling it a risk "not worth taking."

Mayorkas' comments came amid unrest in both island nations. In Cuba, citizens have been taking part in the biggest anti-government protests against the country's Communist regime in years. Meanwhile, the president of Haiti was killed last week in an assassination shrouded in mystery and confusion.

In a Tuesday press conference, Mayorkas told those thinking of trying to reach the US by boat not to do so, citing the danger of the journey. He also said they would face being turned away.

"The time is never right to attempt migration by sea," Mayorkas said, according to Reuters. "To those who risk their lives doing so, this risk is not worth taking."

"Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States. Any migrant intercepted at sea, regardless of their nationality, will not be permitted to enter the United States."

Mayorkas said the US Coast Guard had been patrolling the Florida Straits and the Caribbean for migrants, and that no surge in illegal immigration had been noticed so far, Axios reported.

Cuba protests
Riot police walk the streets after a demonstration against the government of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel in Arroyo Naranjo Municipality, Havana, on July 12, 2021. YAMIL LAGE/AFP via Getty Images

Mayorkas was born in Havana, Cuba, and fled the country for the US with his family following the Cuban Revolution in the 1960s.

His comments come after Vice President Kamala Harris faced widespread criticism for expressing a similar sentiment on a trip last month to Guatemala.

During a speech in the Central American nation, Harris told migrants "do not come" to the US.

"The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border," she said.

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