Most of the world will remember Kamala Harris’s first international trip for three tiny unfriendly words, “Do not come”.
Joe Biden-Kamala Harris fought the recent elections promising strong open arms for immigrants but now warns them, “Do not come.”
Kamala Harris Vice President of America in a news conference beside Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei forewarned against illegal migration to the US, stating: “Do not come. Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders.” She then said, “If you come to our border, you will be turned back.”
Going back a few months, she had severely criticized former President Trump for vilifying immigrants and said, “We have always presented ourselves as a nation of strength with strong arms, that when people are feeling harmed, we will embrace them.”
She had accused Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policy blaming him for separating families, locking children in cages, attempting to end protection for Dreamers, spending billions on a wasteful border wall, and said that these disastrous and cruel policies must come to an end.
After campaigning for office pledging not to build “another foot” of Donald Trump’s wall, President Joe Biden signed an order on Inauguration Day terminating the national emergency at the border and started a 60-day review of the project, pausing all construction and calling for a plan to redirect unspent funds.
It is reported by a White House official that nearly a month after the 60-day mark, there is a silence about the wall and it is evident that Joe Biden will ultimately continue building Trump’s wall.
While the vice-president named “hunger, hurricanes and pandemic” as “acute” drivers of migration, and talked of empowering the indigenous community in Guatemala, she spoke a double message, completely wiping out her previous support of immigrants, she now stresses making the immigrants prosperous in their own countries, a complete U-Turn because she openly is now closing doors to immigrants.
Guatemala ravaged by the pandemic is suffering under poor conditions and Kamala Harris said the US would send 500,000 coronavirus vaccines to Guatemala and provide $26m (£18.3m) to fight the pandemic there.
Many immigrants leaving the Northern Triangle say they are fleeing violence, discrimination, and poverty along with political instability. They are the victims they say of global warming – most distinctly hurricanes – despite hardly contributing to climate change.
Ms Harris said in her press conference in Guatemala that “we are doing the work of requiring certain progress be made” in order to attract US investment to the region.
She also promised US investments towards agriculture, entrepreneurship and affordable housing, as well as for “a young women’s empowerment initiative to increase education and opportunities for girls and women”.
With all the work done for Guatemala, she reiterated a strong message three times firmly, “Do not come.” which indirectly sends out cold vibes appearing to say I will help you but keep out of my country.
Kamala Harris is heavily reprimanded by activists, human rights lawyers, and journalists because this policy is ruthless, ignoring the poverty of millions in Central America, pounded by hurricanes, natural disasters, hunger, climate change, and coronavirus, the economic crashes, violent gang violence.
She contradicts herself by her own argument that “asylum is a legal right,” hammering the Trump administration for shutting immigration doors to the USA, but today, the Biden administration is continuing on the same trend with a strong anti-immigrant policy.
Critics across the political spectrum responded to Ms. Harris’s remarks in Guatemala on Monday by saying that the Biden administration’s promise to usher in a more humane approach to migration is contradicted now by his own administration.
“Do not come. Do not come,” the vice-president warned illegal immigrants, adding: “If you come to our border, you will be turned back.”
One must recall that while running for the presidency in 2019, Ms. Harris lashed out at then-President Donald Trump for turning away immigrants for undocumented papers at the border.
“What does Donald Trump do?” she said. “He says, ‘go back where you came from.’ That is not reflective of our America and our values and it’s got to end.”
Ms. Harris’s remarks on Monday raised criticism from her Republican rivals as expected, but they also spurred on unique rebukes from members of her own party.
“The right to seek asylum is not just legally protected. It is a foundational universal human right,” tweeted Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who was born in Somalia.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the influential New York City Democratic Congresswoman, called the remark “Disappointing”.
“First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival,” she tweeted.
“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.”
Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib reprimanded Ms. Harris, writing: “This whole ‘stay there and die’ approach is not how our country will promote a more humane and just immigration system.”
It is evident that the Biden administration contradicts itself because they rode on a campaign wave for immigrants and Kamala Harris kept reiterating she is the daughter of an immigrant, but now they are now insidiously closing their doors to needy immigrants in desperate times.
A man detained in Arizona wears a T-shirt saying “Biden please let us in” But Biden is not listening anymore. This message was particularly distressing to hear from Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants, an Indian-born mother, and a Jamaican-born father.