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During a Monday visit to Guatemala, Vice President Kamala Harris warned Central American migrants against traveling to the U.S. “If you come to our border, you will be turned back,” she said after meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted in response to Harris’ message, writing “this is disappointing to see.” Symone Sanders, a spokesperson for Harris, added via email that Biden and Harris “have been clear in dissuading people from making the dangerous and treacherous journey to the U.S.-Mexico border.” Harris also promised Giammattei that the Biden administration would fight corruption and other root causes of migration. Bloomberg
In other federal immigration news…
Over 3,900 Immigrant Children Separated Under Trump
The Biden administration’s latest tally identified 3,913 migrant children separated from their parents at the southern border under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy. Officials say the latest official government count issued Tuesday tracks almost all separation cases, but there is more reunification work to complete. The number is lower than advocates’ estimates of over 5,400 children separated. So far, 1,786 families have been reunited by nongovernmental organizations either in the U.S. or in their home countries. The U.S. government reunited seven families last month and will grant 29 more humanitarian parole to stay in the country. BuzzFeed News
Biden DOJ Fights California Law
The Department of Justice is supporting the private prison company Geo Group’s court effort to overturn a California law that would ban for-profit immigration jails in the state. Mark Stern, an attorney from the DOJ, urged the Ninth Circuit to overrule what he refers to as the state’s “extreme” and “extraordinary” statute. The bill blocks DOJ from contracting with Geo Group and other private contractors within the state. “California offers no instance — none — in which anything like this has ever been sustained,” Stern argued. California Deputy Attorney General Gabrielle Boutin denied the DOJ’s argument, saying the law doesn’t violate any federal statutes. Law & Crime