Vice President Kamala Harris told Guatemalans during her visit to the nation on Monday that they should not attempt to cross the U.S. border and would be turned away if they did — a shocking flip from her prior pro-immigration stance.
“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, according to a Fox News report.
“The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border,” she said.
“There are legal methods by which migration can and should occur but we, as one of our priorities, will discourage illegal migration and I believe if you come to our border you will be turned back.”
The words came as a surprise to many, as the vice president’s words contrasted the policy changes of President Joe Biden’s administration.
In addition, Biden reinstated the Obama era catch and release policy that allowed those apprehended for illegal immigration to stay in the U.S. until a hearing.
Harris has offered a new message for the nation’s southern neighbor, but the words are unlikely to stop the surge at the nation’s border. More than 178,000 illegal immigrants crossed in April, according to the Fox News report.