Poll: New Yorkers disapprove of Democrats handling of migrant crisis



(The Center Square) — A majority of New Yorkers believe the influx of migrants into the state is a “serious” problem and fault the state’s Democratic leadership for not doing enough to stem the crisis, according to a new poll.

The Siena College Research Institute survey of about 800 New York voters, conducted between Aug. 13-16, found that 82% of voters say the recent influx of migrants to the state is a “serious” problem, with 54% saying it’s “very serious.”

“New Yorkers – including huge majorities of Democrats, Republicans, independents, upstaters and downstaters – overwhelmingly say that the recent influx of migrants to New York is a serious problem for the state,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement.

Greenberg said New Yorkers are still divided along party lines about the impact of an influx of tens of thousands of migrants, with a plurality of Democrats saying that migrants resettling in New York have been a benefit and a majority of independents and two-thirds of Republicans saying migrant resettlement has been a burden.

The Siena College poll findings are similar to The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, which found 82% of American voters say they are concerned with the situation at the border, with 47% saying they are very concerned and 35% saying they are somewhat concerned. Just 13% said they are not concerned at all and 4% are unsure.

Siena College pollsters found that New York voters disapprove of the job that Hochul is doing to address the influx, by 51-35%. They also disapprove of the job New York City Mayor Eric Adams is doing by 47-31%. But they disapprove even more of the job the Biden Administration is doing to deal with the migrant crisis, by 59-34%,” Greenberg said.

Meanwhile, the poll found that Biden’s favorability in New York has dropped below 50% for the first time, Greenberg said. Biden’s lead over former President Donald Trump has also slimmed to 47-34%, down from a previous poll in June, he added.

“For the first time in a Siena College poll, more New Yorkers now view Biden unfavorably, 50 percent, than view him favorably, 46 percent,” Greenberg said.

The polling results don’t bode well for Biden or the state’s Democrats, who are gearing up to defend their majority in the state government and several contested congressional seats in the 2024 elections.

Republicans have signaled that they intend to make the migrant issue a key plank of their agenda for the next election.

Senate Republican Minority Leader Rob Ortt posted on social media that the poll’s results show Democrats “who helped invite and worsen this terrible crisis, have failed New Yorkers yet again!”

New York GOP chairman Ed Cox has criticized Hochul and other top state Democrats for failing “to meaningfully address our migrant crisis, which continues to spiral out of control.” Cox argues that the surge of migrants is driven by the Biden administration’s “willful policy of de facto open borders” and New York City’s shelter policies.

“These policies are attracting migrants and nothing Hochul and Schumer propose addresses that,” he said in a recent statement. “Their continued inaction is impacting taxpayers and communities across the state.”

Both Adams and Hochul have called on the Biden administration to provide more federal aid for the state and expedite work authorization for the asylum-seekers, but the two Democrats have also traded barbs over the state’s handling of the crisis.

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