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Greg Abbott is changing a Democratic stronghold

Greg Abbott is changing a Democratic stronghold

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is changing public opinion about migrants in the Democratic stronghold of New York.

A new poll released Tuesday by Siena College finds that 84 percent of New Yorkers believe the recent influx of migrants is a problem for the state, with 57 percent calling the situation “very serious.” These figures represent a growing consensus of the more than 117,000 asylum seekers who arrived in New York over the last year.

Migrants who arrive in the nation’s largest city after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are driven there for a variety of reasons, but Abbott’s Operation Lone Star has been a major factor in migration patterns. Since the spring of 2022, the governor has bused 42,000 migrants from Texas to “sanctuary cities” run by Democratic mayors – including 15,000 to New York – in an effort to pressure the Biden administration to tightens federal immigration policy.

The influx of migrants into New York has strained the city’s housing system, schools and budget and caused Mayor Eric Adams to become increasingly critical of the federal government for l help cover the absorption costs of migrants. New York State has committed $1.7 billion to support asylum seekers and migrants and has proposed several state-owned sites that could serve as shelters.

But efforts by Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul to resolve the problem in New York have done little to reassure residents. Tuesday’s survey found that 64 percent of New Yorkers believe the state has done enough for new migrants and needs to act to slow the flow of migrants, an increase of six percentage points from those who said the same thing just two months ago.

“We rarely see a problem where at least 79% of Democrats, Republicans, independents, men, women, upstates, downstates, blacks, whites, Latinos, Catholics, Jews and Protestants all agree – that the influx of migrants is a serious problem,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a press release.

“Is New York still ‘really blue’?,” Greenberg asked. “It’s true, 49% of voters are registered as Democrats and only 23% as Republicans. It’s true that the last Republican candidate to win the presidential election here was Ronald Reagan in 1984. But it’s also true that the year Last year, a Republican found himself seven points behind being elected governor.

Last year, Republicans nearly flipped the governor’s seat when Rep. Lee Zeldin’s candidacy turned the race into the closest New York gubernatorial election in nearly three decades and delivered Hochul’s re-election to achieve the closest Democratic victory in 40 years.

Noting that voters disapprove of the work Hochul and Adams have done to deal with the influx of migrants, Greenberg said in August: “New Yorkers – including an overwhelming majority of Democrats, Republicans, independents, Upstate and upstate residents — overwhelmingly say the recent influx of migrants to New York is a serious problem for the state. »

Abbott defended his decision to send migrants north from Texas, calling the situation sanctuary cities face “calm and organized” compared to the “real chaos” the state sees “every hour of the day.” every day” and placing the blame on Biden instead.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference October 17, 2022 in Beaumont, Texas. Abbott’s busing of migrants to New York strained the city’s resources.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

“The challenge facing New York City and New York State is caused by one person: Joe Biden,” the Republican said at an event last month hosted by the conservative think tank Manhattan Institute .

News week contacted Abbot’s office via email for comment.

Analysis of the poll shows that Abbott was successful in focusing the attention of the American public on the border.

When it began sending migrants to Democratic-led cities last year, only 45% of Democrats said the situation at the border was a crisis, according to an August 2022 Economist/YouGov poll. Another survey conducted by Ipsos at the time found that 40% of Democrats believe it is at least partly true that the United States is experiencing an invasion on the southern border.