"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 in Guatemala.
"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 remark was in contrast to past remarks Harris had made as a presidential candidate and senator, and Republicans quickly accused her of changing tune after a migrant surge that they say was fueled by rhetoric by the new administration.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley pointed to a 2017 tweet of Harris' when she said: "Say it loud, say it clear, everyone is welcome here."
"After years of telling migrants to come and bashing border security, Kamala Harris is now saying ‘do not come,’" Haley tweeted Tuesday. "Too little, too late: over 170,000 migrants crossed our border last month. This is a crisis and her words helped create it."
After years of telling migrants to come and bashing border security, Kamala Harris is now saying "do not come."— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) June 8, 2021
Too little, too late: over 170,000 migrants crossed our border last month. This is a crisis and her words helped create it. https://t.co/o5kWhrQFL2