Most New Yorkers Say Migrant Influx a 'Serious Problem,' Poll Shows

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
August 23, 2023

New polling shows that New Yorkers are concerned about migrant arrivals and want the state to slow their entry.

Eighty-two percent of those polled said the recent influxes are a "serious" problem, and 54 percent said it is "very serious." The poll was conducted last week by Siena College and published Tuesday.

Forty-six percent of respondents said migrants relocating to New York in recent decades has been more of a "burden" than a "benefit." Fifty-eight percent said they "have already done enough" and that the state "should now work to slow the flow."

Biden faced the brunt of New Yorkers' anger in the poll. Forty-seven percent said they disapprove of New York City mayor Eric Adams's handling of the situation, 51 percent disapprove of Gov. Kathy Hochul's, and 56 percent disapprove of President Joe Biden's response.

The survey comes after Democrats told the New York Times they're worried that the worsening migrant crisis in New York could have disastrous implications for the party.

"There is no question in my mind that the politics of this is a disaster to Democrats," Howard Wolfson, who was a deputy mayor and political adviser for former mayor Michael Bloomberg, told the Times. He described the issue as a "ticking time bomb" for the party. "This issue alone has the potential to cost Democrats the House, because it is such a huge issue in New York City and the coverage of it is clearly heard and seen by voters in all of these swing districts in the suburbs."

Democrats have pointed the finger at each other amid the crisis. Hochul last week called out Adams, alleging inaction on the part of the city government.

Lawyers representing Hochul criticized the mayor, saying the city failed to accept the state's offers for help and did not coordinate with surrounding communities to set up housing, leading to a crisis-level shortage of housing for illegal immigrants.

Adams hit back at the governor's criticisms last week. He said some of her suggestions are not tenable, such as housing migrants in areas located in flood plains.

But Adams has largely placed blame on the White House. Democratic New York City politicians rallied outside City Hall this month and called on the federal government for more help.

Adams called it "unacceptable" that the Biden administration has not expedited work permits for migrants.