Tensions Among Old & New Migrants Reach Fever Pitch

Tensions are rising in America between established immigrant communities and new arrivals. Analysts say the tensions are caused by the perception that social services and government spending are disproportionately allocated for newly arrived migrants at the expense of others. Democratic New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat said this is a “distorted narrative.” He said long-term immigrants believe that new arrivals are living in “plush conditions.”

The problems are particularly acute in large Democrat-led cities such as New York and Chicago, where Illinois Rep. Jesús García said people are frustrated because so many had come to America legally, paid taxes, and contributed but now saw millions coming to the country unlawfully and housed in hotels at their expense.

In predominantly black south Chicago, residents have protested against the migrant influx, saying if the government has money to spare, it should spend it on those who are already here. J. Darnell Jones, who attended a protest during the summer, condemned politicians for “placing unvetted, non-taxpayers steps away from our seniors, our children, and our homes.”

A second protestor said an open border to migrants amounts to a “blatant disregard for the safety and overall quality of life for black residents.”

Concern about mass migration among minorities has persuaded many to switch political allegiance away from Democrats and toward Republicans. For example, the percentage of Latino voters who cast their ballot for Donald Trump grew between 2016 and 2020. The New York Times reported in 2021 that polls in the city revealed that New York Latinos supported Republicans and Democrats in equal measure – signaling a growth in support for the GOP.

Some commentators suggest that many individuals from minority communities are tired of “social justice” causes such as critical race theory or radical ideas about gender. LA Times columnist Gustavo Arellano wrote that Democrats are not heeding that message from non-white conservatives but believe the switch to Republicans is prompted by “misinformation” campaigns online.