Polls: New York Religious Communities View Migration as ‘Burden’

Immigrants gather with their belongings outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Wednesday Se
Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette via AP

A pair of polls show near-universal and growing opposition to migration among New York communities amid the chaos and diversity created by D.C. pro-migration policies.

The shift was revealed in two Siena College polls, taken before and after New York Mayor Eric Adams said on September 7 that his city would be destroyed by migration, and the October 7 Hamas attack on civilian Jews in Israel.

The two polls asked New Yorkers, “Now, turning to the issue of migrants coming to New York. Looking back over the past 20 years or so, do you think that migrants resettling in New York has been more of a benefit, or more of a burden to the state?

The August 13-16 poll showed that New Yorkers picked “burden” over “benefit” by 46 percent to 32 percent, with 15 percent saying “mixed.”

But the October 15-19 poll showed that New Yorkers picked “burden” over “benefit” by 54 percent to 32 percent, with just 5 percent saying “mixed.”

The eight-point gain for “burden” came out of the 15 percent who said “mixed” in August.

Siena Poll

Siena Poll

The shift is to be expected after Adams’ alarm, Dan Stein, the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), said:

This was a watershed moment in the history of American immigration policy … Biden has so badly blundered, overreached, and undermined political support within his own communities, that he’s changed the nature of the immigration debate forever … People love the idea of “huddled masses” — but like, not too many huddled masses! You get too much of a good thing even in New York City.

The Jewish community has been shocked by the sudden appearance of antisemitism among immigrants and their long-standing allies, Stein added:

There’s obviously a lot of rethinking and soul-searching going on within the Jewish community about political alliances … people who have aligned themselves with all these various left-wing causes are going, “You know, I guess maybe we don’t really have that much comradeship here among fellow travelers as we thought.”

There are still people in this country who are willing to re-assess first principles, reconsider lifelong thought patterns and say, “Maybe I need to think fresh, reconsider my position, and maybe we need to take a different strategy here about how we approach issues like immigration.” You have Henry Kissinger coming out and saying, “We got to be thinking about who we’re letting into the country for a change.”

The crosstabs in the poll showed lopsided community-wide opposition to migration — legal and illegal. Only liberals showed majority support, while nearly all other groups showed majority opposition.

For example, people who earn more than $100,000 were more likely to describe migration as a benefit — but their views changed from 42 percent for benefit in August down to 37 percent for benefit in October.

Younger people were also more likely than older Americans to describe migrants as a benefit, but their “burden” viewpoint jumped from 31 percent in August to 46 percent in October.

In August, Catholics, Protestants, and Jews were strongly on the “burden” side, with respective “burden” shares of 50 percent, 59 percent, and 48 percent.

In October, those “burden” numbers spiked 12 points among Catholics, up to 62 percent; by 5 points among Protestants, up to 64 percent; and by 4 points among the Jewish community, up to 52 percent. The “benefit” shares slipped to 27 percent, 22 percent, and 28 percent.

Among people in the Jewish community, there was a seven-point drop in “benefit” and a four-point gain in “burden.” Two out of three members of the group view migration as a “burden” rather than a benefit, according to the Siena poll, and 12 percent say they see migration as a “mixed’ factor:

The community comprises almost 9 percent of the New York state’s population.

The two polls also showed that Democrats’ “benefit” share remains fixed at 44 percent. But the “burden” share rose from 33 percent to 44 percent.

Overall, supporters of migration were little moved by the migration disasters, while many people with “mixed” views jumped into the “burden” column.

But swing voters turned against migration as the “mixed” voters flipped into “burden” voters. Among independents, the “burden” share rose from 51 percent to 56 percent. Among self-described moderates, the burden share rose from 45 percent to 55 percent.

The October poll also showed that 57 percent of voters view Biden’s migration as “very serious.”

Also, 64 percent said, “New Yorkers have already done enough for new migrants and should now work to slow the flow of migrants to New York.” The result includes 72 percent of Catholics, 72 percent of Protestants, and 64 percent of Jews.

Migrants wait outside the Roosevelt Hotel hoping for a place to stay on August 02, 2023, in New York City. New York City officials are considering housing the influx of migrants in tents in Central Park in Manhattan and in Prospect Park in Brooklyn as the numbers arriving daily overwhelm available facilities (Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress).

When asked about the Biden administration’s migration policy, 64 percent of voters disapproved. That disapprove group included 70 percent of Catholics, 68 percent of Protestants, and 65 percent of Jews.

The poll also asked, “Do you agree or disagree with Mayor Adams that the influx of migrants will destroy New York City?” The “agree” response was pushed by 66 percent of Catholics, 66 percent of Protestants, and 52 percent of Jews. Thirty-nine percent of Jews disagreed.

Video — NYC Mayor Eric Adams: Migrant Crisis Will Destroy New York City

Pro-migration progressives are worried about the rising public hostility to the federal government’s population policy. For example, on October 26, Ron Brownstein at the Atlantic wrote:

Even many in the communities that Trump’s immigration plans would most directly affect appear more focused on other issues. Every major data source on voting behavior agreed that Trump grew his vote among Latino voters from about three in 10 to nearly four in 10 from 2016 to 2020, largely around economic issues, but also because of gains among cultural conservatives. Though the GOP advance among Latinos stalled between the 2020 and 2022 elections, polls continue to record widespread dissatisfaction among them about inflation, which could further erode support for Democrats in 2024.

But the tide is turning as more Americans — and even some intellectuals — recognize the vast pocketbook damage inflicted on ordinary Americans by pro-migration elites. For example, David Leonhardt is a New York Times columnist and the Atlantic let him admit on October 23 that migration inflicts pocketbook harm on ordinary Americans:

The decades when the American masses enjoyed their fastest income gains—in the middle of the 20th century—were also the decades when immigration was near historic lows. The 1965 [immigration] law ended this era and caused a sharp rise in the number of immigrants entering the workforce. Shortly afterward, incomes for poor and working-class Americans began to stagnate. The 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s were a time of low immigration and rapidly rising mass living standards. The period since the ’70s has been neither.

“Maybe Biden has actually been a force for good because he’s so dramatically overreached,” Stein said:

Overall, Washington’s Extraction Migration policies are deliberately adding the foreigners’ problems to the lengthening list of Americans’ problems — homelessness, low wages, a shrinking middle class, slowing innovation, declining blue-collar life expectancy, spreading poverty, the rising death toll from drugs, and the spreading alienation among young people.

Worse, the inflow of migrants reduces the incentive and ability of politicians, government officials, and business leaders to overcome their expanding political differences in ways that help reduce Americans’ problems:


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