Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Majority of New Yorkers Believe Migrant Crisis ‘Will Destroy NYC,’ Siena College Poll

Published: October 25, 2023
Migrants reach for food being handed out while filmed by a woman outside of the Roosevelt Hotel where dozens of recently arrived migrants have been camping out as they try to secure temporary housing on August 02, 2023 in New York City. (Image: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

According to a poll published on Oct. 24 by the Siena College Research Institute, the majority of New Yorkers believe the migrant crisis, currently gripping the Big Apple, “will destroy New York City.” 

The poll was conducted from August 13 to 16, 2023 and gathered responses from 803 New York State registered voters.

On Sept. 6, during a town hall meeting on the Upper West Side, New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, spoke about the migrant crisis, saying, “I’m gonna tell you something, New Yorkers, never in my life have I had a problem that I didn’t see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this,” adding that, “This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy New York City.”

Adams’ comments appear to have struck a chord with New Yorkers, with 58 percent of them agreeing with the statement, according to the poll. 

More broadly, 84 percent of respondents believe the migrant crisis is a “serious problem,” while 57 percent believe it’s “very serious.”

A majority, 64 percent, believe New York has done enough to support the migrants and should focus on slowing the flow to the city compared to 29 percent who say the city should accept and work to assimilate them.

Siena College pollster, Steven Greenberg said, “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,” adding that, “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.”

Pointing fingers 

Many New Yorkers are blaming every level of government for the perceived failure to adequately address the crisis.

“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.

On Oct. 24, during his weekly question-and-answer session, Adams said that the city is officially “out of room,” adding that, “I don’t know how to get this any clearer. When you are out of room that means you are out of room.”

“I want to be clear, the visual signs of this crisis in this city, people are going to start to see it,” Adams said, adding that, “We are out of room, and it’s not if people will be sleeping on the streets, it’s when. We are at full capacity. This is going to hurt and it’s not going to be pretty.”

Adams has admitted that the city will have to find “large spaces” to try to create a “controlled environment” to house the migrants who have made their way to New York, adding that even the bare bone solutions tabled come with a hefty price tag for New York City taxpayers.

“We’re finding out what are our options. Believe it or not, tents are costly. Everything is costly. What we are dealing with right now is a depletion of resources that is going to threaten our ability to provide the basic services to New Yorkers. And I can’t allow that to happen,” the mayor said.

Migrants keep coming

As of Oct. 16 New York City was providing accommodations and services for around 64,100 people, while the total number of migrants to the City is said to be upwards of 126,700, and the flow of migrants does not appear to be letting up. 

Earlier in October, officials said the number of migrants arriving in the city everyday shot up to 600.

During an Oct. 4 press conference, NYC Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services, Anne Williams-Isom said the city was seeing a “significant surge” of arrivals.

Camille Joseph, Mayor Adams’ chief of staff, said during the week of Sept. 11, the city received 10 charter buses of migrants, and through the week of Sept. 25 the city received 27, ABC News reported. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been busing migrants to the city since April 2022 as a way to lessen the burden on the communities he is responsible for and to raise awareness concerning the issue. 

In September Abbott posted on X, “Additional buses deployed to Eagle Pass are loading up to send migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities. Texas will utilize every strategy to help our border towns and respond to Biden’s border Crisis.”