Americans generally believe people fleeing war or political oppression in their home countries should be allowed to seek refuge in other countries, however few think the U.S. should accept more Syrian refugees, according to a new poll.
A YouGov survey released this week shows just 26 percent of Americans say the U.S. should increase the number of Syrian refugees it is resettling on its shores. Nineteen percent said they approved of the current level and 30 percent said the U.S. should take in fewer.
“Nearly half of Republicans (48%) think that the U.S. should take in fewer Syrian refugees, and even Democrats are divided between the 39% who think more Syrians should be sheltered and the 38% who believe that current levels are either acceptable (17%) or too high (21%),” adds the YouGov analysis.
Independents were more evenly divided, with 24 percent saying the U.S. should accept more Syrian refugees, 19 percent agreed with the current level and 28 percent calling for fewer.
The poll was conducted in advance of last week’s announcement that President Obama has instructed his administration to prepare to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees next year. This year the U.S. is slated to accept about 1,800 Syrian refugees. The YouGov poll, placed the current level of Syrian refugees accepted to the U.S. so far this year at just under 1,000.
A plurality of Americans also said that the number of refugees the U.S. admits is already too high, with 17 percent saying the level is “too high” and 28 percent saying the level is “far too high.” Eleven percent said the U.S. could take in “many more” refugees, 10 percent said the U.S. could take a “few more” refugees and 14 percent said their are neither too many or too few refugees.
The idea of people fleeing oppression to other countries, however received a higher amount of support with 66 percent of Americans saying such people should have the right to seek refuge in other countries, 11 percent said they should not have the right and 23 percent were unsure.
Specifically on America as a country of refugee, YouGov reports just over half of Americans believe the U.S. should be a place to which refugees can flee.
“[I]n principle, few Americans (21%) disagree with the idea that the United States should provide refuge to people fleeing war or oppression in their home countries. 52% say that the US should provide refuge, though Democrats (65%) are much more likely than Republicans (39%) to say that the United States should shelter people fleeing war or oppression,” YouGov reports.
The poll of 1,000 American adults was conducted from September 3-7 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent.