Former Democratic President Bill Clinton stated on Sunday that New York City’s “right-to-shelter” law needs to change due to the migrant crisis overwhelming the city’s shelter system.
Clinton told 77 WABC radio’s John Catsimatidis that the city’s right-to-shelter measure needs to be fixed, agreeing with New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul’s sudden calls for change despite her previous touting of the state’s sanctuary status.
“It’s broken. We need to fix it,” Clinton said on “The Cats Roundtable” radio show. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
“They come here, and we’re supposed to shelter people who can’t get work permits for six months. We need to change that,” he added.
On Sunday, Hochul called for “a limit on who can come across the border.”
“It is too open right now,” Hochul stated. “People coming from all over the world are finding their way through simply saying they need asylum. And the majority of them seem to be ending up in the streets of New York. And that is a real problem for New York City, 125,000 newly arrived individuals. And we are being taxed.”
Hochul said the number of Border Patrol agents at the southern border should “double or quadruple.”
According to Hochul and New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams, the right-to-shelter law was created to address the city’s homeless problem but not the migrant crisis.
“Gov. Hochul thinks it should be modified, and it probably should under the circumstances,” Clinton said Sunday.
In an attempt to deter more migrants from coming to New York City, the city’s deputy mayor for Health and Human Services, Anne Williams-Isom, announced last week that flyers would be handed out to migrants already in the city and those at the border encouraging them to go elsewhere.
“NYC is one of the most expensive cities in the world; you are better off going to a more affordable city,” the flyer stated.
Migrants seeking asylum “ought to work,” Clinton stated.
“They need to begin working, paying taxes, and paying their way. Most of these people have no interest in being on welfare,” he added.
Last month, the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security announced that it would offer work authorization and temporary legal status to 472,000 additional Venezuelan migrants already in the country.
Clinton applauded President Biden for getting migrants into the workforce.
“He’s trying to do that. Probably somebody will sue him and say, ‘You can’t do that for one group and not another,'” Clinton stated.
He called for expanding migrant resources and shelters at the southern border to “keep people there.”
“The [U.S. immigration] system is built to handle about 400,000. … We should build more housing just over the Rio Grande, and Mexico, I think, would support that,” he continued. “Keep people there, and let them in as quickly as possible if they are going someplace where we know they can get a job and they’ll be welcome.”
The former president noted that the “chaos has been very beneficial for the Republicans.” He slammed far-left Democrats for losing seats in New York due to their “reaction to the crime problem.” Clinton explained that his party “didn’t have a good common-sense approach to it.”
“We have always had a blanket offer of entry into America for people who have a reasonable fear for the lives and safety of their families and themselves. A lot of the Venezuelans can easily make that case. … Because there’s no question that the whole country has been consumed by the collapse of effective security and government in the [Venezuelan] Nicolás Maduro administration,” Clinton continued. “But they come in here, and under the current law, they have to wait six months for a work permit.”
Clinton claimed that immigration could benefit the United States by offsetting the country’s declining birth rate.
“We have a negative birth rate in America. … If that happens, the only way to keep your economy growing is either with immigrants or machines,” he stated.
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!