A majority of New Yorkers support making it easier for migrants living in the state to be granted work authorization, as well as using federally-owned properties as temporary shelters, according to a new Siena poll released Tuesday.
The Siena College Research Institute (SCRI) poll released Tuesday found 56% of residents support housing migrants currently in the state on federally-owned land in New York.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the Biden administration in late August approved housing migrants at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn after months of negotiations. The governor said the former airfield would temporarily house more than 2,000 people as New York City continues to struggle to address the more than 100,000 asylum seekers currently living in the city.
Additionally, the poll found 59% of respondents support making it easier for migrants to be granted work authorizations regardless of their current status.
Hochul last week once again stressed the need for expedited work authorization from the federal government. Speaking at Tech Valley High School in Albany last Thursday, Hochul once again called on President Joe Biden to issue an emergency order or put pressure on the Republican-led U.S. House of Representative to pass legislation to allow for expedited work authorizations, which she says would allow the asylum seekers to afford their own shelter and services, thus easing the crisis.
“To resolve this, I believe the answer comes from Washington in the form of work authorizations,” Hochul told reporters.
On the federal level, the poll found more than two-to-one, 50-28%, residents support immigration reform that would provide a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants, while 50% of New Yorkers oppose building a wall along the Mexico border, as proposed by former President Donald Trump.
“Over 40% of all New Yorkers believe that immigrants take more than they offer society. About a third believe current migrants are dangerous, perhaps even criminal, only want hand-outs and are a source of illegal drugs. But in each of these cases more New Yorkers disagree with, rather than hold, these judgments,” SCRI’s Director Don Levy said in a statement. “Large majorities of Republicans see immigrants and current migrants as dangerous but Democrats and independents disagree. While a small majority of Republicans say that America no longer needs new immigrants, overwhelming majorities of Democrats and independents say that we do.”
Among those surveyed, 11% of respondents said they were born in another country, while 16% say the first member of their family came to this country prior to 1840. Thirty-one percent can trace their family’s arrival from 1840 to World War I and another 35% said their family arrived during the Great Depression, World War II or the Reagan years. Only 10% said they immigrated from 1990 to the present.
The poll was conducted from Sept. 5 to Sept. 8 by random telephone calls to 414 New York adults via landline or cell phone. It was also drawn from 386 responses from a proprietary online panel of state residents.