Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Partisan attitudes on Syrian refugees

I'm still processing the implications of the relationship between US anti-Islamic nationalism, Trump-like xenophobia and anti-Latino prejudice and hatred.

The Brookings Institute and the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland have published the results of a survey on American attitudes on refugees from the Middle East 06/13/2016. The survey was done at the end of May, so does not an effect of the Orlando massacre this past weekend:

If the United States screens refugees for security risks, 59% of Americans support taking in refugees from the conflicts in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, while 41% oppose. Support is stronger among Democrats (77%) and Millennials (68%). Opposition is strongest among supporters of Donald Trump (77%) and Republicans (63%).
Although only 3 refugees have been arrested since 9/11 over terrorism charges, an overwhelming majority of Americans (84%) believe that there have been more than 5 arrests, with 28% believing that there have been 100 or more. Those who are 55 years of age or older are more likely than Millennials to think this (33% compared to 22%).

Across party lines, Republicans are more likely to estimate that a larger number of refugees have been arrested over terrorism links. [my emphasis]
Republicans are more likely to oppose responses that would bring more refugees to the U.S. The percentage of Republicans who oppose the U.S. government taking in more [war] refugees (75%) is more than double that of Democrats who feel this way (34%). The same is true when asked about individuals and community groups, such as churches, sponsoring more refugees and helping them with funds and assistance to settle in the U.S. 51% of Republicans oppose this whereas only 25% of Democrats do. Looking at responses abroad, Republicans and Democrats do not vary too much in their support. For example, 78% of Republicans and 83% of Democrats support the U.S. sending professionals in humanitarianism work to help refugees in camps abroad.
Twenty-one percent of Americans think that the U.S. should expel the Syrian refugees who are already in the country, while 76% say the U.S. should ‘welcome them and help absorb them into American society.’ Younger Americans are less likely to want Syrian refugees expelled (16%) compared to 24% of 35-54 year olds and 23% of Americans 55 and older. Republicans are also four times more likely than Democrats to want refugees expelled with 36% compared to 9% of responses. Democrats are more likely than Republicans and Independents to say that the U.S. should welcome refugees and help absorb them into American society, with 90% of Democrats feeling this way.
The report doesn't mention correlations with attitudes toward Latinos or undocumented Latino refugees.

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