The neighborhood of Jackson Heights in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s electoral district has a huge problem with illegal immigrants. A recent segment on Fox News delved into why the residents felt the way they did about the situation, asking people who lived there their opinions. Let’s take a look at what came out.

Not Safe After 7 PM

One of the things a few of the residents of the area said was that when they were younger, it was a lot safer. They could have quickly gone for a walk after dark without worrying. Many would stroll the sidewalks at night to breathe fresh air.

Source: Flickr/William Ross

Today, the after-dark picture is very different, and many residents feel unsafe. A few have said they don’t like being outdoors after nightfall because of the illegal immigrants. Some ensure that they are behind closed doors by the time the sun goes down.

Noticeable Change In the Neighborhood

Residents have said that they’ve seen their neighborhoods change drastically after immigrants entered their spaces. The look and feel of Jackson Heights have changed completely.

Source: Flickr/Howard Lake

Some older residents reflected on simpler times. They aren’t against immigrants in general, but they have a problem with immigrants who change the place they move to and shun the residents.

Biden Legislation To Blame

Several of Jackson Heights’ residents have stated that they believe the Biden administration’s legislation that seeks to protect illegal immigrants has led to the current situation. The administration has seen the most significant influx of migrants from the border in history.

Source: Flickr/United States Mission Geneva

They noted that there has been a corresponding increase in illegal activities and violent crime since the neighborhood became filled with immigrants. While this might not directly be due to the migrants, their arrival coincides with an increase in the crime in the area.

Not Just Violent Crime

In addition to violent crime, some residents noted that there has been an increase in the amount of people who are ignoring city regulations without any consequences. The residents of Jackson Heights who follow the rules are being punished for their obedience.

Source: Flickr/JJ

Some pointed to unauthorized street vendors and mentioned that items would sometimes go missing only to show up being sold at those vendors’ locations. Theft is a crime that AOC seems to consider as unimportant since she doesn’t address it.

Local Businesses Impacted As Well

Local businesses noted that the presence of these street vendors impacted their business. Since these vendors didn’t have to pay the city or obey any regulations, they could easily undercut prices.

Source: Flickr/Alan Levine

Additionally, since they were usually set up at mobile spots, they didn’t have to look at zoning laws and didn’t require a brick-and-mortar storefront, causing unfair competitive practices.

Businesses Shut Early Because of Safety Concerns

The lack of income is one thing, but the unsafe environment has led many shop owners to close their stores early to avoid being robbed or extorted by immigrants. This further hobbled these stores’ ability to make money.

Source: Flickr/ Michael W. May

Residents have become disillusioned and angry seeing their neighborhood decline, and despite their complaints, their political representatives are not doing anything about it. This has left many feeling jaded with their choice of representative.

Lack of Engagement and Responsiveness

AOC is the elected representative for the area, and residents have reached out to her for help or advice on dealing with the situation. Unfortunately, their questions and requests have been ignored.

Source: Flickr/Evan Long

They urged her to prioritize the safety of their neighborhood and take more proactive measures to deal with the current spiraling crime situation. Even small measures like ensuring immigrants followed the same rules as others could help.

Democrats Love Illegal Immigration

Democratic representatives have always taken a soft approach to immigration. This has not always worked out in the best interests of the country’s residents. It has led to rampant overpopulation in some Democrat-run cities.

Source: Flickr/Jens Schott Knudsen

One of the most recent examples is the death of an Augusta nursing student, Laken Riley, at the hands of an illegal immigrant. Her death is one of many that have been laid at the feet of illegal immigrants.

Residents Feel Betrayed

Some of the residents of Jackson Heights said that they had fervently supported AOC during her campaign, thinking she would help the residents and give them a safe place to exist.

Source: Pexels/ArtHouse Studio

They said the current situation has left them feeling betrayed and abandoned as their representative seems to be ignoring a problem of their party’s creation. The Biden administration has allowed a lot of immigrants into the US since it came into power.

Inability To Effect Meaningful Change

The lack of meaningful change they can bring about in their neighborhoods has made residents feel as though they’ve been left to fend for themselves. They are limited by what they can do based on obeying the rules.

Source: Flickr/mabi2000

Elected officials are responsible for ensuring that laws are passed and enforced and that the community that elected them to power feels safe. None of those things are happening in Jackson Heights.

Real Leadership Is Necessary

Being an elected official is more than just toeing the party line on issues of national importance. It’s about forging and maintaining a bond with the local community.

Source: Flickr/nrkbeta

Some residents say this is what’s lacking in their representation. They don’t have someone they can depend on or talk to about their problems. Even regular channels are being ignored because they don’t conform to the expectations.

Accountability And Prioritization Needed

As with many elected officials, when they get to Washington, they tend to change their approach. What’s in front of them at any point in time are partisan issues that require their input.

Source: Flickr/GPA Photo Archive

The sad reality is that voters like those from Jackson Heights have a problem and can’t count on their elected official to have any say in it. They would like to be prioritized over national issues.

Disconnect Between Policies and Issues

There is a distinct disconnect between the political policies that AOC espouses and the issues of what’s happening right at home in her elected constituency. Her constituents are feeling the fallout of her decisions.

Source: Flickr/Leonid Mamchenkov

Bringing in illegal immigrants is fine until the people who voted to put you into power are affected. Unfortunately, for some officials, it doesn’t matter if the people who voted for them are concerned.

A Deteriorating Neighborhood

As more immigrants move into Jackson Heights, there is a pallor of uncertainty as residents try to figure out how best to cope with them.

Source: Flickr

Residents don’t want the immigrants gone; they just want proper protection and safety and for those immigrants to obey the same rules and laws as everyone else in the community.

Discontent Rising In The Neighborhood

With AOC’s non-communication with the people who have complained, there is an air of uncertainty about her as their representative. This is a pressing issue that she seems to be ignoring.

Source: Flickr/Casey Hugelfink

Many constituents wonder whether she was voted to deal with their needs as a community or whether she was simply using them to get into Washington. The results seem apparent from her behavior.

Stop Voting For Non-Representatives

New Yorkers have had many complaints about their representatives lately. Commentators on the interview that Fox News posted noted that the responsibility lay with the constituents.

Source: Flickr/Phil Roeder

If New Yorkers want proper representation, they can’t keep voting for people who don’t represent them, one commenter said. It’s been a common theme in many areas of New York.

Madness Means Doing the Same Thing And Expecting Different Results

Another commenter noted that New Yorkers kept putting the same people in power and wondered if they expected any change since they kept voting them in.


He accused the residents of being mad because they did the same thing over and over and expected a different result. Maybe it was time for Jackson Heights residents to consider new representation.

Misplaced Priorities Come to Light

AOC has become quite successful in Congress, and she has managed to become a multi-millionaire based on her connections there. All the while, her constituents are suffering.

Source: Flickr/Pictures of Money

One commenter pointed out the apparent disconnect. With businesses closing early and losing sales to immigrants in Jackson Heights, it shows a lack of priorities for AOC.

Constituents Still Hold Out Hope

Despite the silence from their representative, the people of Jackson Heights still hold out hope. They expect that they will see a change by prioritizing community safety and engagement.

Source: Flickr

However, that all depends on whether AOC is paying attention to them. Immigration is such a hot-button issue that doing something might rub AOC’s allies in Congress the wrong way.

A Chance to Bridge the Gap

The most significant struggle facing constituents is that those in power can ignore their lived experience because it doesn’t conform to what the represented officials believe is reality.

Source: Flickr/Jamie McCaffrey

The fact is that the real world is a lot more complicated and involves the lives of real people. Representatives should put their constituents’ lives above those of others.

Immigration Is A Serious Concern

On the other side of the political aisle, border states have been asking for more funds to stop incoming migrants and beef up the border patrols, but they have not been successful.

Source: Flickr

Based on the policies of the Biden administration, illegal immigration seems to be something they want to encourage. By powering down border control, they open the door to many migrants entering.

Border Encounters Dropping?

In January, the US Customs and Border Protection Service recorded 124,220 encounters from all ports of entry along the southwest border, a decline from December’s figures.

Source: Flickr/rwcar4

However, with fewer personnel and patrols in the area, these numbers might simply be a reflection of an underpowered Border Protection Service.

A Stark Difference to the Trump Administration

Former President Donald Trump’s time in office saw immigration reform but in the opposite direction. Trump’s approach was to remove migrants as much as possible and make it difficult for them to enter the country.

Source: Shutterstock

During his time in office, he beefed up the border patrols and restricted individuals’ entry. Title 42 allowed border authorities to quickly expel incoming migrants.

A Switch-Flip and an Immigration Emergency

Early in the Biden administration, the president made it legal for unaccompanied minors to enter the US. Unfortunately, this led to a massive influx of young migrants, leading to a crisis at the border.

Source: Flickr/Nathan Gibbs

To date, the first year of the Biden administration saw the most significant influx of migrants into the US. The final count for 2022 was 2.2 million people entering the United States from other countries.

Why So Many Migrants?

Central and South America has seen lots of political and social upheaval. Migrants come from within the continent, as far away as Africa and Europe. There are even some Asian migrants that come in through the border to the southwest.

Source: Flickr/Adam Fagen

One of the strangest influxes is the refugees from China. Between October and December, 14,965 migrants entered the US from China. In 2020, only 29 migrants from that area came into the US.

More Incoming  Means More Outgoing

While Trump was very proactive in his approach to dealing with migrants, this meant he had fewer migrants to deport. His deportation numbers were far less than the Biden administration’s.

Source: Flickr/André Natta

Conversely, Biden’s administration deported some 500,000 migrants annually since he’s been in power. However, the administration also released over 2.3 million people into the US since 2021.

There Should Never Be a Special Dispensation

Residents of Jackson Heights have a right to feel betrayed. Their officials are supposed to protect them and keep them safe. Unfortunately, AOC seems to think that the party’s agenda means more than the lives and rights of her constituents. The residents aren’t even asking for deportation.

Source: Flickr/Axel Drainville

All the residents want is to feel safe and secure in their neighborhoods again. Applying the same laws and rules everyone else has to follow will achieve this goal. However, it would also make AOC look like a hypocrite in front of the rest of the Democrats.