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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Former President Bill Clinton and Gov. Kathy Hochul Call for Changes to New York City’s “Right to Shelter Law”
In a surprising turn of events, former President Bill Clinton has joined forces with New York Governor Kathy Hochul in advocating for significant modifications to New York City’s long-standing “Right to Shelter Law.”
According to reports from Fox News, during an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis on 77 WABC radio’s “The Cats Roundtable” show, Clinton expressed his belief that the law, which mandates shelter for the homeless, should be revised given the current circumstances.
“Gov. [Kathy] Hochul thinks it should be modified, and it probably should under the circumstances,” Clinton remarked, acknowledging the need for change. He went on to assert that the existing law is fundamentally flawed, stating, “It’s broken. We need to fix it. It doesn’t make any sense.”
The “Right to Shelter Law” has been a fixture of New York City for over four decades and is aimed at ensuring that the homeless population has access to shelter. Moreover, New York City is often referred to as a sanctuary city, welcoming migrants and providing them with certain protections.
However, Clinton pointed out a specific concern related to this policy. He expressed his view that the city’s obligation to provide shelter extends to individuals who may not have work permits for up to six months after their arrival, raising questions about its practicality.
Furthermore, Clinton argued that migrants should have the opportunity to begin “paying their way” into American society through gainful employment and self-sufficiency.
“They ought to work,” Clinton asserted, emphasizing the importance of migrants entering the workforce, paying taxes, and supporting themselves economically. He noted that many migrants have no desire to rely on welfare assistance.
In addition to addressing the “Right to Shelter Law,” Clinton emphasized the role of immigrants in shoring up the American economy due to the nation’s low birth rate. He suggested that the United States should consider constructing more housing options near the border with Mexico to accommodate migrants, with the support of the Mexican government.
This approach, according to Clinton, would allow individuals to reside near the border while awaiting opportunities to find work and contribute positively to American society.
Clinton also acknowledged the political ramifications of the ongoing immigration crisis, acknowledging that it has been advantageous for Republicans. He attributed this to the inadequacies in the immigration system and a lack of sufficient border facilities.
The former president concluded by addressing the recent political losses suffered by Democrats in New York, attributing them in part to the perceived mishandling of the immigration issue. He stressed the need for his party to adopt a more “commonsense approach” to the challenges posed by migration.
The alignment of views between former President Bill Clinton and Governor Kathy Hochul on the need for changes to the “Right to Shelter Law” highlights the complexities and evolving dynamics surrounding immigration policy in the United States, particularly in major metropolitan areas like New York City.
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