Politics

Poll: Majority Of Americans Are Against Accepting Syrian Refugees

| by Robert Fowler
Displaced Syrian Refugees.Displaced Syrian Refugees.

The majority of Americans do not want the U.S. to accept the Syrian refugees currently being vetted for entry. A Nov. 23 Gallup survey shows that 60 percent of Americans disapprove of the Obama administration’s plan to settle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S.

A slim majority of Democrats stand by President Barack Obama’s plan, with 57 percent approving. Meanwhile, both self-identifying Independents and Republicans disapprove. Of Independents, 37 percent support the plan while only 15 percent of Republicans approve.

When asked whether or not Syrian refugees would be welcome in their communities, the majority of Democrats answered yes while Independents were split down the middle. The majority of Republican respondents answered that the refugees would not be welcomed.

The poll results show that Obama is at odds with the majority of the public. Gallup also included results from polls measuring Americans’ support for accepting refugees as far back as 1939, and they reveal that the public has consistently disapproved.

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In a 1946 poll, only 16 percent of Americans’ agreed with President Harry S. Truman’s request that the U.S. take in more European Jews following the immediate aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust.

In 1979, only 32 percent of Americans’ wanted the U.S. to accept Indochinese refugees displaced after the Vietnam War.

The only time the majority of the American public was in support was in 1999, when 66 percent approved of the U.S. accepting just several hundred Kosovo refugees.

The Syrian refugee crisis has become a divisive issue in the 2016 presidential election. Democratic candidates are in favor, with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont supporting Obama’s plan while Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are calling for the U.S. to accept even more refugees, Vox reports.

Meanwhile, all of the Republican presidential candidates want the relocation process to either be paused or scrapped, according to Vox.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ohio Gov. John Kasich want the relocation delayed until the vetting process can be further improved.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have suggested the U.S. only accept Christian Syrians while the rest of the GOP presidential field don’t want to welcome any refugees.

Meanwhile, Canada had pledged to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the year, but this may be delayed until the end of February 2016 because of logistics, the Toronto Star reports.

Sources: Gallup, Toronto Star, Vox / Photo credit: Josh Zachary/Flickr