Last Updated on November 15, 2023
Republicans are saying that the soft-on-crime policies of the Justice Department, coupled with Joe Biden’s lack of control over the southern border, is resulting in more than just a lack of law and order but the dynamic change in demographics and culture in what The New York Times referred to as the “cookie-cutter suburbia.”
In June, New York City Mayor Eric Adams sued 32 of the state’s counties. The New York State Supreme Court denied Adams’ motion against the counties that imposed emergency orders blocking the relocation of migrants, including the Town of Riverhead at the east end of Long Island.
The month prior, the Town Supervisor, Yvette Aguiar, took a “pre-emptive state of emergency over asylum seekers.” The Republican stated any migrant buses would be turned away and facilities housing migrants would receive a code violation.
Aguiar extended the state of emergency for Riverhead to a date that is unknown, particularly because she is not seeking re-election, according to the Long Island Press.
And in August, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, a Democrat, offered up the idea of relocating migrants to the Nassau Coliseum. Republican Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said in a press conference, “no plan[s] for anywhere in Nassau County to house any migrants, including but not limited to, the Nassau Coliseum.”
Fox News reported that Blakeman had contacted local school districts to affirm that there are no migrant programs in Nassau County. He then reiterated the component of crime in liberal migration:
“We also don’t want people here who haven’t been properly vetted because—as we’ve seen in other areas through the United States and here in New York State—there have been crime problems as a result of not vetting the people who were coming across the border.”
The Immigration Research Initiative (IRI), which advocates for migrants, dedicates a page to migration into Long Island. Per its June 6, 2023 post, 550,000 immigrants live on Long Island, including “people who are undocumented, have green cards, or are naturalized citizens; adults, and children; refugees, asylum seekers, agricultural workers, [and] people with high-skill visas.”
Migrants make up 19 percent of the total population, according to IRI. The Island’s immigrant population has more than doubled since 1980. According to the same data, half of migrants since 2000 have been from Latin America, specifically El Salvador—the founding nation for the Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13).
Notably, the Hagedorn Foundation details that migrants tend to be located in more crime-ridden areas of Long Island, like Hempstead, Freeport, Elmont, and Brentwood, where the migrant population is a bit more dense. Newsday reported in 2022 about the demographic changes, including the increase in Spanish-speaking households to over 27.9% in the Queens adjacent Nassau County, as Long Island continues to urbanize.
Southwest border encounters last recorded by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show a record 269,735 in September, which is more than 5x that in 2020. The total encounters for the year that have been recorded are 2,475,669, with the overwhelming majority being single adults.
USA Today noted in a November 6 report that 125,000 migrants have entered the Big Apple since last spring, citing many were even bused by Republican governors. The actions of governors like Greg Abbott continue to hurt the GOP, which has had a mission statement of retaining the suburbs.
This year, Republicans posted new ground in several victories on Long Island, even flipping the Suffolk County executive office—the first in almost 25 years.
These gains in the suburbs, according to Spectrum News, could grant another Donald Trump election. The left-leaning outlet does, however, note the seats held in swing districts by Rep. Nick LaLota, George Santos and Anthony D’Esposito. One congressman is in the mix of a criminal inquiry, while the other two remain more moderate Republicans at the previous behest of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Executive Dean of the National Center of Surban Studies at Hofstra University, Lawrence Levy, argued to Spectrum News about the importance of the demographic change, saying the Republicans should fear the long-term trends of the suburbs.