US Vice President Kamala Harris has urged would-be migrants in Guatemala not to try to enter the United States illegally.
Speaking in her first overseas trip since taking office, she said the journey north was dangerous and would mainly benefit people smugglers.
Harris warned people they would be turned back at the border.
She has been tasked by President Joe Biden with controlling a surge in migration at the southern border.
Harris has described her task as finding solutions to tackle the root causes of the border crisis, including corruption and the lack of economic opportunities. Her staff say this visit is primarily an information-gathering trip.
Speaking at a news conference alongside Guatemala President Alejandro Giammatei, she warned against illegal migration to the US, saying: “Do not come. Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders.”
She added: “If you come to our border, you will be turned back.”
Harris said she wanted the US and Guatemala to “work together” to find solutions to “long-standing problems”.
She said people must be given a “sense of hope that help is on the way”.
“It must be coupled with relationships of trust. It must be coupled with tangible outcomes, in terms of what we do as leaders to convince people that there is a reason to be hopeful about their future and the future of their children,” Harris added.