“No question of surrender.” That was Ukraine’s message to Russia after they demanded Ukraine hand over the besieged city of Mariupol. “Ukraine said on Monday it would not obey ultimatums from Russia after Moscow demanded it stop defending besieged Mariupol, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are suffering through Russian bombardments laying waste to their city” reports Reuters.
Russia’s military made the demand that residents of Mariupol were to surrender by 5 a.m. local time on Monday. Russia claimed “those who did so could leave” but for anyone who stayed “would be handed to tribunals run by Moscow-backed separatists” reports Reuters.
Over ten million Ukrainians, nearly a quarter of its 44 million people, have been forcibly removed from their homes. Nearly four million have left the country entirely creating a refugee crisis; Germany predicts the refugee number could reach as high as 10 million in coming weeks.
In just weeks after the invasion began, roughly 3.4 million individuals left their homes in Ukraine since February 24. Over 2 million have gone to Poland, according to the most recent figures from the UN refugee agency.
Among the refugees include more than 1.5 million children, the agency suggested. Reuters reports that Europe believes Russia is using refugees as a tool and is prepared to take more action on top of existing sanctions to isolate Russia from global finances and trade.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government has maintained that it would never bow to ultimatums and said cities such as the capital Kyiv, Mariupol and Kharkiv would always defy occupation.
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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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