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Mixed signals: VP Harris now tells migrants ‘don’t come’

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Vice President Harris implored migrants not to attempt to cross the border alongside Guatemalan President Alejandro Giamattei during a news conference in Guatemala Monday. Her arrival Monday was her first international trip since she was inaugurated. She also seemed to imply to reporters in the room that neither she or President Biden will be making the “grand gesture” of visiting the border themselves.

“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,” Harris said. “The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border.”

But, when it came to describing the consequences of attempting to cross the border, Harris was less brazen. “And I believe if you come to our border you will be turned back,” the vice president said. She asked Guatemalans instead to “find hope at home.”

During her remarks, Harris announced a young women’s empowerment initiative and investments in agribusiness and affordable housing. She also announced that she has created an anticorruption task force alongside the Justice, Treasury and State departments, which she called “the first of its kind.”

Yet, as an Associated Press reporter pointed out after the conference, Giamattei has openly opposed anti-corruption efforts. Harris responded that the task force would combat corruption with or without Giamattei’s support.

President Giammattei also alluded that Harris promised to return to Guatemala in the future. But, when that same AP reporter asked Harris about visiting the border, she said she’d rather focus on efforts similar to the ones made by her and Giammattei Monday than “grand gestures.”

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Immigration

DHS Secretary Mayorkas Says We Cannot Remove ‘11 Million Undocumented Individuals’ Unlawfully in U.S.

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DHS Secretary Mayorkas

Troubling details were unearthed during the questioning of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by the Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Grassley asked Mayorkas about a DHS memo from September 30 which reads: “The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen will not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them.”

“Does that reasoning apply to the [1.2] million illegal immigrants who have received due process and been given a final order of removal by an immigration judge?” Grassley asked Mayorkas.

“We cannot remove 1.2 million individuals, nor can we remove more than 11 million undocumented individuals, individuals who are unlawfully present in the United States, who might not have final orders of removal” Mayorkas answered.

Mayorkas also stated that he had issued the due process policy after drawing on “tremendous experience not only as a member of the Department of Homeland Security but as a federal prosecutor.”

Grassley pressed Mayorkas, asking, “should any of them be removed?”

“Of course,” Mayorkas said. “I do believe that individuals who pose a public safety threat, who pose a national security threat, who pose a border security threat, should be removed, and we should be smart and effective in our use of resources, and we should focus on the well-being of our communities and prioritize individuals for removal.”

In his opening statements, Grassley addressed Mayorkas and stated, “When you allow the ACLU and open-borders immigration activists rather than career law enforcement professionals to dictate the terms of your immigration and border policies, then you shouldn’t be surprised when record-shattering numbers of people start showing up at the border to take advantage of that.”

Grassley continued, “When you run DHS like it’s an ‘Abolish ICE’ fan club, you shouldn’t be surprised when you have an illegal immigration crisis on your hands.”

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