The majority of New Yorkers believe the illegal immigrant crisis is a serious issue that will “destroy” New York City, a new poll finds.
According to a Siena College poll released Tuesday, 58% of New Yorkers agree with Democrat Mayor Eric Adams’ statement that the crisis – in which over 118,000 illegal immigrants have arrived in the city since last year – will “destroy” the Big Apple. And while the people in the state blame all levels of government for the crisis, most place the blame on President Biden.
“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,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said. “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.”
The poll, which was conducted October 15-19 on 1,225 registered voters in the state, found that a majority of white, black, and Latino voters agree with New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ statement that the crisis will “destroy” the city. The respondents hold their state leaders — and Biden — accountable for the influx of illegal immigrants.
Fifty-two percent of registered voters in the state disapprove of the job Democrat New York Governor Kathy Hochul is doing regarding the crisis, while 46% feel the same way about Adams and 64% disapprove of Biden’s handling of the issue.
“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,” Greenberg said.
Earlier this month, New York was seeing 600 illegal immigrants entering the city every day. The city has a “right to shelter” obligation, but officials, including Mayor Adams, are working to suspend that in light of the massive numbers entering the city. In a statement, Adams said it was “abundantly clear that the status quo cannot continue.”
The city earlier this month limited immigrant families to 60 days in shelters, after which they would need to reapply. This move followed a similar action for single adults, who must reapply after 30 days. They have already erected large tents to house immigrants, and now city officials are discussing handing out tents to illegal immigrant arrivals to sleep in parks and other outdoor areas, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
“It’s not ‘if’ people will be sleeping on the streets, it’s when,” Adams said Tuesday. “We are at full capacity. 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.”
In fiscal year 2022, there were 2.2 million illegal immigrant encounters on the southern border, and in 2023, there were 2.06 million, according to immigration data from the Department of Homeland Security. Those numbers have surpassed the previous record of 1.692 million encounters the country had in 1986, the Washington Examiner reported.