The current migrant situation in New York City has a majority of its residents on edge, according to a recent poll. The data reveals that many New Yorkers align with Mayor Eric Adams’ view, which paints a grim picture for the city’s future amidst the influx of illegal immigrants.
The Siena College survey, published earlier this week, indicates that 58% of New Yorkers resonate with Mayor Eric Adams’ statement that the crisis, marked by the arrival of over 118,000 illegal immigrants in the past year, could “destroy” NYC. The overarching sentiment seems to be one of blame towards President Biden’s administration.
Steven Greenberg, representing Siena College in the poll’s findings, remarked, “While other issues in Washington and abroad have largely driven the news cycle over the last few weeks, the influx of migrants to New York remains top of mind for voters, with 84% saying it’s a serious – 57% very serious – problem for the state.” He went on to highlight the unprecedented unity among diverse groups, noting, “Seldom do we see an issue where at least 79% of Democrats, Republicans, independents, men, women, upstaters, downstaters, Blacks, whites, Latinos, Catholics, Jews, and Protestants all agree – that the migrant influx is a serious problem.”
Delving into the poll’s specifics, which was based on responses from 1,225 registered voters in New York from October 15-19, a majority across various racial backgrounds shared Mayor Adams’ concerns about the city’s fate. Furthermore, the onus for the situation was largely placed on the state’s leadership and President Biden.
A noteworthy 52% disapproved of how Democrat New York Governor Kathy Hochul has been addressing the crisis. Mayor Adams’ efforts were similarly critiqued by 46%, and a significant 64% expressed dissatisfaction with President Biden’s approach. Greenberg further expanded on these sentiments, stating, “Voters disapprove of the job Governor Kathy Hochul is doing to address the migrant influx by 15 points, but they disapprove of the job Adams is doing on the migrant issue by 16 points and they disapprove of the Biden Administration on this issue by a whopping 35 points, including a slight plurality of Democrats.”
The enormity of the situation became even more palpable earlier this month with daily entries of 600 illegal immigrants into New York City. Despite the city’s “right to shelter” commitment, steps are being taken to re-evaluate it, especially given the sheer numbers. Mayor Adams put forth his views stating it was “abundantly clear that the status quo cannot continue.”
As a response to the situation, the city recently instituted a policy limiting immigrant families to 60 days in shelters, after which a reapplication is necessary. Single adults face a similar policy but with a 30-day window. Large tents are being set up as temporary accommodation solutions, and considerations are being made to distribute tents to the arriving immigrants for park and open-area stays. Mayor Adams candidly expressed, “It’s not ‘if’ people will be sleeping on the streets, it’s when… We have to sort of localize it as much as possible. We have to make sure that people have some type of restroom facilities, some type of shower network.”
The Department of Homeland Security data for fiscal year 2022 reports 2.2 million illegal immigrant encounters at the southern border, and 2.06 million in 2023. This surpasses the previous 1986 record of 1.692 million encounters, as documented by the Washington Examiner.